ALMOND ORANGE BROCCOLI- Vegan, Gluten-Free & Oil-Free

I sat down with the intention to write my next review of Happy Herbivore Light & Lean. But as soon as I looked at my computer screen I felt exhausted. I spend about six of my eight hour work day sitting at a desk writing an assessment. Turns out that’s enough to make me not want to write anything else today!

Almond Orange Broccoli

Almond Orange Broccoli

Crisp broccoli smothered in a sweet and salty sauce. 

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp almond butter
  • 3 tbsp sliced almonds

Instructions:

  1. Heat frying pan over medium-low heat and add broccoli florets.
  2. While the broccoli cooks, add orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar and almond butter to a blender (I used my Magic Bullet) and blend until combined.
  3. Once the broccoli is cooked to your liking (I cook mine just until it starts to turn a brighter green), pour the sauce over the broccoli and sprinkle with the sliced almonds.

Almond Orange Broccoli

xoxo Erin

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UPDATE! This recipe has been shared at Healthy Vegan Fridays.

SUSHI RICE SALAD- Vegan, Gluten-Free & Sugar-Free

As much as I’m enjoying creating Project Light & Lean posts, I felt it was time for a good old recipe. I made this salad before the holidays for a potluck at work. I wasn’t planning on making a sushi salad, but I forgot to go to the grocery store after work and once I was in the house the last thing I wanted to do was go out again. I had to make something for the potluck with whatever I had in my fridge. I was pleasantly surprised when this is what I came up with. You can make the flavour in this dish as bold as you’d like. Since I was making it for others I kept the ginger down to 1/4 cup and the wasabi down to 1/2 tsp. When I make it for myself and my partner I use closer to 1/2 cup ginger and 1- 1 1/2 tsp wasabi.

Sushi Rice Salad

Sushi Rice Salad

All of the bright flavours of sushi without all of the complication of making a sushi roll!

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup sushi rice
  • 2 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups julienned cucumber
  • 2 cups julienned carrot
  • 1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1/4 cup pickled ginger
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2- 1 tsp wasabi paste
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Instructions:

  1. Bring 2 1/3 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add the sushi rice and bring the water back to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer, covering and cooking until the water is absorbed and the rice is soft. This should take approximately 20 minutes.
  2. While the rice is cooking dissolve the coconut sugar into the rice vinegar.
  3. Once the rice is finished cooking, remove it from heat and stir in the rice vinegar mixture. Stir and let it cool uncovered while you prep the veggies.
  4. Julienne the carrots and cucumber and drain the thawed spinach very well. Set aside.
  5. Mix together gluten-free soy sauce, 2 tbsp water, sesame oil and wasabi paste until well combined. Set aside.
  6. Once the rice has cooled to room temperature and the rice vinegar mixture has been absorbed by the rice, stir in the carrots, cucumber, thawed and drained spinach, pickled ginger and diced avocado.
  7. Add the dressing and mix until combined. Top with sesame seeds. Serve right away or let chill in the fridge before serving.

Sushi Rice Salad

xoxo Erin

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UPDATE! This recipe has been shared at Wellness WeekendAllergy-Free Wednesdays and Gluten-Free Fridays.

PEANUT BUTTER APPLE HEMP COOKIES- Vegan, Grain-Free, Refined Sugar-Free & Oil-Free

I’ve become quite the cookie monster lately. All I want to eat is cookies and most days this week every meal has ended with a cookie. With such severe cookie cravings I decided to create a cookie that is healthy enough to be part of a regular meal. And what makes a healthier cookie than hemp seeds, sesame seeds, peanut butter, apple butter and flax seeds.

Cookies

Mmmm cookies!

Cookies

Healthy cookies!!!

Cookies

Healthy Peanut Butter Apple Hemp Cookies

Super healthy peanut butter cookies with a hint of sweet apple and nutrient packed seeds. 

Serves 12

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup apple butter
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 1 tbsp water

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add hemp seeds and sesame seeds to a blender and blend for a few seconds until about half of the seeds are broken up. I used my magic bullet.
  3. Mix the blended seeds with the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined.
  4. Drop the cookies onto the lined baking sheet and leave room for them to expand.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes and let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet. If you try to remove them when they’re not fully cooled, some of the bottom of the cookie will stick.

Cookies

xoxo Erin

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UPDATE! This recipe has been shared at Wellness Weekend.

Virtual Vegan Potluck: GARDEN HARVEST CORNBREAD (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free & Oil-Free)

Yes! It’s the Virtual Vegan Potluck again!

vvpLOGOI love this potluck because I always discover fantastic blogs that I did not know existed and recipes that only dreams are made of. Last potluck I created this recipe for the dessert category. This time around I thought I’d try out another category, so breads it was! Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that this potluck there is an optional special ingredient of…

BEETS

When I think of beets I think of chilly weather and comforting foods. And what’s more comforting than freshly baked cornbread! This was actually the first cornbread I’ve ever made, let alone developed. My first attempt had a serious molasses taste, specifically on the first day. By day two it had mellowed out significantly. If you like molasses, feel free to use up to 1/4 cup and decrease the maple syrup by 2 tbsp. If you hate molasses, feel free to cut it out and use 1/2 cup of maple syrup or agave nectar.

Garden Harvest Corn Bread

This cornbread is not overly sweet and not overly savoury. It’s basically the perfect snack bread. My favourite way to enjoy it was with a dollop of almond butter on top:

Almond Butter

Garden Harvest Cornbread

A super moist and veggie-filled cornbread that can be enjoyed as a snack or along with your favourite soup. 

Serves 12-16

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 6 tbsp water and set aside for 5 minutes
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup fine grind cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded beets
  • 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line 9 x 9 pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl mix together the first 5 ingredients and mix until well combined.
  3. In a large bowl mix together cornmeal, millet flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum and baking powder.
  4. Add the contents of the medium bowl to the large bowl and mix until just combined.
  5. Fold in the shredded veggies and pour batter into prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let cool completely before cutting.

Garden Harvest Cornbread

To see the rest of the potluck, follow the button below. To see the recipe before mine, click HERE!

  go_forward

xoxo Erin

UPDATED! This recipe has been shared at Healthy Vegan Fridays.

PORTOBELLO KALAMATA GRILLED “CHEESE” SANDWICH- Vegan & Gluten-Free

Sometimes I am overcome with a craving for a melty, cheesy sandwich. I don’t think I’m alone with this craving either. On a chilly weekend afternoon, who doesn’t want a gooey, melty, soul-hugging sandwich?

Portobello Kalamata Grilled Cheese

Now, don’t let the above photo fool you- that is the sandwich before it’s second grill. And yes, it’s the second grill that makes this sandwich outstanding. I first grilled the sandwich with just the non-dairy cheese. Once it was melted I pulled the sandwich apart, added the olives and sautéed mushrooms, added a little more non-dairy cheese and then put it back in the pan for more melty goodness. Well, now that I’ve told you how to make it, I guess I should give you the ingredients 🙂

Portobello Kalamata Grilled “Cheese” Sandwich

Hearty portobello mushroom slices, salty kalamata olives and melty non-dairy cheese make the ultimate comfort food sandwich. 

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces gluten-free bread
  • Earth Balance Buttery Spread
  • 1/2 portobello mushroom, sliced
  • 4 pitted kalamata olives, sliced
  • 3-4 tbsp non-dairy cheese (I used Daiya)

Instructions:

  1. Add sliced portobello mushroom to a frying pan with a splash of water (to prevent sticking) and cook over medium heat until the mushroom slices release water and that water evaporates. This should take 5-7 minutes. Set mushrooms aside.
  2. Gently spread Earth Balance over one side of each piece of toast. Lay one piece of toast, Earth Balance side down, in a frying pan. Top with 1/2 the non-dairy cheese and place the other piece of toast, Earth Balance side up.
  3. Cook the sandwich over medium-low heat until the cheese begins to melt, flipping the sandwich after about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Once the non-dairy cheese begins to melt, pull the sandwich open and add the sautéed mushroom slices and sliced olives to one half of the sandwich. Add the rest of the non-dairy cheese on top of the veggies and close the sandwich with the other piece of bread.
  5. Place the sandwich back in the frying pan, cover with a pot lid and cook for 3-5 more minutes until all the non-dairy cheese melts.

Sandwich

xoxo Erin

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QUINOA GARDEN SALAD- Vegan, Gluten-Free & Oil-Free

vegan month

I love salads. And I can eat a whole heck of a lot of salad too! Normally I would say this isn’t a big deal, but when I’m trying to pack a salad to bring to work for lunch it can become a problem…I never have a container big enough for all the salad I want to eat! In order to make my salad smaller but still satisfying I started adding quinoa to the mix. Quinoa is technically a seed but it’s used as a grain. It’s full of vitamins, minerals and yes, protein. Quinoa has all of the essential amino acids and is therefore considered a “complete protein”. The more I learn about protein, the more I realize it doesn’t matter if a food has all the amino acids or not. As long as you eat a wide enough variety of plant-based foods you’ll get all of the amino acids you need. With that said, quinoa is delicious and satisfying so I enjoy it and consider it a bonus that it’s got all the essential amino acids.

Quinoa Garden Salad

Oil-Free Quinoa Garden Salad

Raw crunchy veggies are paired with tahini smothered quinoa for a quick and satisfying salad. 

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1  cup water or vegetable broth
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 english cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • 6 romaine lettuce leaves, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos (or other gluten-free soy sauce substitute)
  • sriracha, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Add quinoa and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy.
  2. Stir the tahini, Braggs and sriracha into the cooked quinoa.
  3. Add the chopped veggies and mix the salad well.
  4. Enjoy right away or let chill in the fridge.

Quinoa Garden Salad

xoxo Erin

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5-MINUTE VEGGIE SPAGHETTI- Vegan, Grain-Free & Oil-Free

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I love quick and simple meals. After a long day of work it’s not unusual for me to arrive home with a growling belly and limited interest in spending more than 5 minutes in the kitchen. One of my go-to meals is oatmeal but I’ve noticed I have more energy at night if my dinner is loaded with veggies. And even though I do add veggies to my oatmeal sometimes, I’m definitely more likely to add fruit. Obviously I was in need of another go-to 5-minute dinner and boy does this recipe ever do the trick!

Zucchini Spaghetti

Raw zucchini noodles are what make this spaghetti so quick to throw together. Some people think that pasta is a quick dinner but boiling water takes far too long for my liking. This entire meal could actually be raw, but I prefer my broccoli gently steamed. In this recipe I also used jarred tomato sauce, but feel free to use homemade tomato sauce (raw or cooked, whatever you prefer).

So, what are zucchini noodles?

Making Zucchini Noodles

It’s raw zucchini that has been spiralled into noodle shape.  To do this I use this vegetable spiral slicer. I’ve only had it for a few months but so far I love it. It does a great job with little effort and is easy to clean. It also has suction cup legs, which adds to the ease of its use. You can spiral cut basically any veggie you want. I haven’t ventured out yet, but I’ve seen many recipes that call for spiral cutting carrots, beets, sweet potatoes and parsnips.

Healthy 5-Minute Veggie Spaghetti (with raw option)

Veggies, veggies and more veggies! This dish will fill you up and give you a boost of energy AND fibre!

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium zucchini (a wider zucchini works best)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, steamed or raw
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • tomato sauce (as much, or as little, as you’d like)

Instructions:

  1. Spiral cut zucchini and place in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Add broccoli to bowl and then tomato sauce. Stir until the veggies are coated with sauce.
  3. Sprinkle with hemp seeds and nutritional yeast and dig in!

Yes, it’s that easy 🙂

Spaghetti

xoxo Erin

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BLUSHING BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE- Vegan, Grain-Free & Refined Sugar-Free

vegan month

Apparently puppies are exhausting and time consuming. Luckily I expected no less and made sure I had lots of frozen fruits on hand to make smoothies with. I love smoothies as a meal because they are super quick to make, can be a multitude of flavours and keep me full for hours. I find if I add too much fruit to my smoothies though I get hungry rather quickly, so I like to keep a nice balance between fruits and veggies in my smoothies. With that said, if you’re newer to fruit and veggie smoothies or just like them on the sweeter side, feel free to substitute a ripe banana for the avocado. That will definitely make this smoothie sweeter. You could also always throw in a date or two to sweeten it up, or add extra blueberries.

Blushing Blueberry Smoothie

Now let’s talk about two ingredients in this smoothie that might make you say “what is that?!?”…dried hisbiscus flowers and amla powder (a.k.a. Indian Goose Berry powder). I like to add both of these amazing foods to my smoothies because of their health benefits. Check out Dr. Greger’s video here about the power of amla powder and his video about dried hibiscus flower here. I buy both alma powder and dried hibiscus flowers from a health food store. A bag of amla powder may seem expensive, but it lasts a very long time so it’s definitely worth the money- especially when you consider all the health benefits!

Blushing Blueberry Smoothie

A meal-worthy smoothie that’s packed with vitamins, nutrients and antioxidant packed superfoods.  

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen organic blueberries
  • 1 small beet, peeled
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1/4 avocado (or 1 ripe banana)
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1/2 tsp amla powder
  • 1- 2 cups water (depending how thick you like your smoothie)

Ingredients:

  1. Add all ingredients to a high power blender (I use my Vitamix).
  2. Blend until smooth and enjoy!

xoxo Erin

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HOMEMADE ALMOND MILK- Vegan, Grain-Free & Refined Sugar-Free

vegan month

Non-dairy milk can be expensive. It can also have hidden oil and sugars in it. So I make my own:

Homemade Almond Milk

All you need to make your own almond milk is a nut bag and a high powered blender. Okay, so there is some investment needed in order to make your own almond milk, but if you can make that kind of investment you won’t regret it. The high powered blender is the expensive part, a nut bag will run you less than $10. But just think of all the fun things you can do with a high powered blender! Seriously, my VitaMix is my favourite thing I’ve ever bought, ever…EVER!!!

I not only love homemade almond milk because it’s cheaper and easy to make, I also love it because it tastes so fresh. I used to love drinking a glass of dairy milk. When I cut dairy out I tried to drink a glass of store bought almond milk  and just couldn’t do it. It tasted weird to me by itself. Now that I make my own almond milk though, I can enjoy a glass again 🙂 It’s great plain and it’s fabulous with a little vanilla liquid stevia. I won’t lie, I don’t always make my own almond milk. Sometimes I need some for a recipe and don’t want to wait 4 hours for my almonds to soak. When I do buy almond milk I opt for Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Milk. This brand does not have any added oils or sugars. I also buy soy milk from the store from time to time but only organic brands without sugar or oil.

Homemade Almond Milk

Fresh almond milk that comes together within minutes. Enjoy by itself, pour over cereal or use in recipes.

Makes 4-5  cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds, soaked for at least 4 hours
  • 4 cups of water
  • optional- vanilla liquid stevia (I use 5 drops)

Instructions:

  1. Add soaked almonds and water to a high powered blender.
  2. Blend for 30-60 seconds, or until the mixture looks white like dairy-milk.
  3. Place milk bag over jug and pour approximately 1/4 of the milk into the nut bag.

Making Almond Milk4. Gently squeeze the bag to exact the liquid. What is left over is the almond pulp.

5. Continue adding more milk to the nut bag until all of the milk has been strained.

Making Almond Milk6.  Add liquid stevia, if desired, to the almond milk and keep in fridge for 3-4 days.

7. Freeze the almond pulp for later use.

Almond Pulp

8. Remember to shake the almond milk before using it as it does separate a little.

9. Clean up any spills- I’m really good at making a mess 🙂

Mess

xoxo Erin

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UPDATE! This recipe has been shared at Raw Food Thursdays.

1000 ISLAND-ISH DRESSING- Vegan, Grain-Free, Refined Sugar-Free & Oil-Free

The other day I was feeling incredibly tired and lazy. I decided I wanted a salad but didn’t have the energy to put one together. I went to the store to grab a bag of prepared salad. While at the store I contemplated my tiredness and went to look at the pre-made salad dressings. After reading about 20 labels and finding nothing I wanted to eat I realized I could have made a dressing in the amount of time I had spent just reading the labels.

So I went home and made the easiest yet most delicious salad dressing:

1000 Island-ish Dressing

Quick & Easy 1000 Island-ish Dressing

Creamy tomato dressing with chunks of tangy pickle relish and pop of protein. 

Makes approximately 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup silken tofu
  • 2-4 tbsp non-dairy milk (depending on how thick you like your dressing)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup (I use this kind)
  • 1/4 cup relish
  • 1 tsp sriracha

Instructions:

  1. Add tofu, non-dairy milk, ketchup, sriracha and half (2 tbsp) of the relish to a blender (I used my magic bullet) and blend until smooth.
  2. Transfer to storage container and mix in the rest of the relish.
  3. Keeps in fridge for a week, but if you’re like me it won’t last more than a few days 🙂

1000 Island-ish Dressing

xoxo Erin

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