Greek Style Beans

Greek Lima Beans
I LOVE Greek food. If you leave out that delicious fried cheese and fried zucchini, Greek cuisine can actually be quite clean. The food is cooked in greek olive oils, tomato based sauces and lots of fresh herbs. My favourite part about going to Greek restaurants is those Gigantes Plaki beans. Those massive beans cooked in a dill tomato sauce is the perfect accompaniment to fish/chicken/beef and is actually delicious on top of veggies.

It was time I finally recreated this recipe in my own home- and I’m so happy I did. I have been eating these protein packed beans alongside all my meals these days. They are super satisfying and they add lots of flavour to generally boring dishes. Having trouble getting those raw veggies in? Throw some beans on them!

Photo 2015-04-09, 4 41 30 PMPhoto 2015-04-09, 4 43 13 PMPhoto 2015-04-09, 4 43 54 PMGreek Lima BeansGreek Lima Beans

Ingredients:

• 4 1/2 cups (about 3 cans) well rinsed gigante beans (canellini or butter beans work well too!)
• 1 yellow onion (finely diced)
• 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
• 1/4 cup greek olive oil (other olive oil will be fine!)
• 5 medium tomatoes (1 can of san marzano tomatoes will work too)
• 3 tbsp tomato paste
• 1 cup chopped dill (divided)
• 2 tbsp water
• salt and pepper to taste
• hot sauce or chilli flakes (optional)

If using fresh beans…

Start by soaking the gigantes beans overnight in water. Rinse well.Then place the gigantes in a large pan or pot with cold water, enough to cover them, add a pinch of sea salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes, until tender but not too soft. Drain and set aside.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Pulse tomatoes in a food processor until chunky. Don’t over process.
3. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan or deep oven proof skillet. Sauté onion with a pinch of salt until translucent and soft. Add garlic and saute for another minute.
4. Add your crushed tomatoes to the garlic and onion. Add tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes.
5.Taste your sauce, make sure its to your liking then add your beans. Add 1/2 cup fresh dill. Toss until beans are well coated and transfer to a roasting pan if your skillet/pan is not ovenproof.
6. If you find your sauce is too thick, add 2 tbsp of water and stir. Place beans in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. Allow to cool slightly then add your remaining dill + hot sauce or chilli flakes if you desire!

Serving options:

• with a fried egg + avocado
• raw or steamed broccoli + spinach
• over spaghetti squash
• with meat/fish
• over veggie rice/quinoa

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Miso Vegan Power Bowl

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Theres nothing like a mish-mash of different foods in one bowl. Often however, it is difficult for vegans to have a satisfying meal that is both gluten and animal product free. The key here is getting enough protein, that of course does not come from meat. So, is tofu the only option? Not really actually! Beans, seeds, nuts and even vegetables… yes veggies- can be an excellent source of protein. Leafy greens such as spinach for example, give this bowl an added 2 grams of protein. Broccoli also packs a great protein punch- feel free to add it or replace the spinach!

The sesame miso gives an amazing deep flavour. The addition of lime juice and zest give the perfect amount of acid and helps cut the richness. You will get a lot of sweet potatoes and brussels from this recipe, so you’ll be able to make these bowls throughout the week! You’ll just need to make enough of the other ingredients for the amount of people you are serving.

so..what nutritional value are you getting?

miso paste:

Fermentation allows for good for you gut bacteria to grow. Probiotics are great for a healthy gut.

sweet potatoes:

Super high in vitamin A which is essential for growth and development, and for the maintenance of the immune system and good vision.

black bean noodles:

packed with fiber and high amounts of protein.

sesame seeds:

good source of protein, fiber and vitamins!

sriracha:

boosts metabolism

brussels sprouts:

high in vitamin c which helps strengthen our immune system

avocado:

packed with those good for you fats (monounsaturated), which reduces levels of bad cholesterol in your blood and lowers your risk of stroke and heart disease.

cashews:

lots of protein and zinc which helps with vision and curing the common cold

I hope you love this asian inspired vegan power bowl. You will be packed with nutrients and feel fully satisfied without any animal products whatsover. Any meat lover will enjoy this one! Plus- you can serve the sweet potatoes as a side dish for any dish you like!

Photo 2015-03-27, 12 06 04 PMPhoto 2015-03-27, 12 17 45 PMPhoto 2015-03-25, 9 41 17 AMVegan Power BowlVegan Power Bowl

Miso Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprouts Ingredients:

(This recipe will give lots of sweet potatoes + brussels so you can make bowls throughout the week, serves 5-6)

• 2 medium sweet potatoes (cubed)
• 10-12 brussels sprouts (quartered)
• 1 tbsp sesame oil
• 1 tbsp gluten free tamari (I use the light variety)
• 1 tbsp gluten free miso (make sure it is not made from barley or wheat)
• 1 tbsp honey
• 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
• 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
• 1 tsp sriracha (optional)
• 2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro
• the juice + zest of 1 lime

Vegan Bowl Ingredients (amounts given are per one bowl…so multiply by how many people you are serving!):

• 1/2 cup of black bean noodles (any beans or brown rice/buckwheat noodles will work great!)
• half an avocado
• 1/2 cup fresh spinach (kale, or bok choy would be delicious too!)
• shredded carrots
• small handful of roasted cashews
• 1 tbsp green onion
• 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
• 1 tsp cilantro (optional, for serving)
• lime wedges (for serving)
• sriracha (optional, for serving)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Place chopped sweet potato and brussels sprouts on a baking sheet or roasting pan.
3. In a small bowl, whisk sesame oil, tamarin, miso, honey, rice wine vinegar, ginger and sriracha. Pour over the brussels and sweet potatoes and mix until well coated.
4. Roast in the oven for 45-60 minutes or until potatoes are cookies through and golden. Cook longer for super crispy brussels!
5. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare your bowl ingredients. Cook the black bean noodles, chop your green onions, toast your cashews (if not pre roasted), shred your carrots and cut your limes.
5. Remove potatoes from the oven, toss in the juice of one lime + zest and sprinkle with cilantro. Set aside.
6. Arrange your bowl- start by adding about 1/2 cup of noodles at the bottom. Then add your ingredients in piles around the bowl. Sprinkle with green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds and finish with more sriracha and lime juice if you desire! YUM!
Vegan Power Bowl
Miso Vegan Power Bowl

Blueberry Cookies with Chocolate Hazelnut Filling (Passover-Friendly)

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I love looking at food photography of other bloggers. Healthy food or not, I find it so inspiring to see how others both create and demonstrate their food. After seeing so many beautiful versions of homemade Oreo’s or sandwich cookies, it was time I made my own! I had a visual in my head of a purple or blue cookie with a healthy Nutella filling. I love pear combined with chocolate hazelnut spread but I wanted to do something different! Back in the junk eating days, I would take a huge scoop of Nutella and put berries on top, so I figured why not inject this flavour into a cookie?

The base of this cookie is based on my Maca Maple Flax cookies. I wanted the same soft texture and sweetness level of those cookies just with a strong blueberry flavour. I love infusing blueberries into my maple syrup for pancakes, so I did the same for these cookies. They taste like blueberry muffins! In fact, if you add some baking powder I’m sure these can be muffins… (to test at a later date…)

The almond base makes these cookies passover friendly.There are no leavening agents or grains. From what I understand, most of the ingredients don’t need to have a Kosher for Passover label because they are natures foods! BUT if you are strictly Kosher for Passover over the holidays, make sure to check with your local Rabbi or ask a knowledgable friend! The lack of dairy in these cookies allow them to be served after a meal containing meat!

Passover Seders not in your near future? No problem! These are a PERFECT Easter treat! Because of their beautiful colour they would make a great addition to any dessert table! You can even use a cookie cutter to shape them into bunnies or eggs. How cute? It is always nice to serve something a little healthier and gluten free when hosting an event! (just incase!)

Good on their own or with healthy nutella filling, these cookies are a flavourful gluten, dairy and refined sugar free treat. Hope you all love these and wanted to wish you all an early Happy Holidays!!
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Ingredients:

• 2 cups almond flour
• 2 heap tbsp ground flaxseeds
• pinch of sea or pink himalayan salt
• 1 cup + 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
• 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
• 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (the light kind works best here!)
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 egg
Healthy Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

Makes about 20-25 cookies

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment and grease with coconut oil.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour,ground (milled) flax and salt. If your almond flour is lumpy sifting is a good idea!

3. In a saucepan on medium heat, begin to heat your maple syrup. Once heated, add 1 cup of blueberries. Allow to cook for 5-7 minutes or until the blueberries have exploded and begun to reduce in the pan. Whisk every 2 minutes.

4.Once the blueberries have turned the syrup a beautiful purple colour and have reduced slightly, add your coconut oïl. Once the coconut oïl has melted transfer mixture into a small mixing bowl and allow to cool for several minutes.

5. When mixture has cooled, whisk in your egg, vanilla and lemon juice.

6. Add the wet ingredients all at once to dry ingredients. Stir mixture until combined and a dough forms. Add your remaining 1/2 cup of blueberries.

7.If your dough is too liquidy to form into balls then place in saran wrap and allow to rest in the freezer for 30-45 minutes.

8.Scoop the dough using a tablespoon and roll into balls. Place onto baking sheet. Using your fingers press the dough down slightly.

9. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool and then spread a generous amount of healthy hazelnut chocolate spread on the bottom of a cookie, sandwich it with another cookie, pressing firmly so that the icing comes all the way out to the edge. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks!
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