Vegan Nourish Bowl

Vegan Nourish BowlAlthough we just got through the last of our Thanksgiving leftovers, it is now time to prepare ourselves yet again for another Holiday debauchery of eating, eating and more eating. Regardless of the holiday time, am I alone in this constant comfort food craving that has yet to come to an end? Something to do with the dark days and cold weather I assume… In any case, the holidays are a time to indulge so long as we do so in moderation. A little of the bad stuff counter-acted with a lot of the good stuff makes for a holiday we can enjoy and most importantly feel good about. So, to help you get all those nutrients in between those forkfuls of pie and mashed potatoes, I’ve created a completely meat and dairy free bowl that is packed with protein and vitamins. Most importantly, this is one tasty and filling bowl. Here are the components:

• roasted maple butternut squash
• noodles made from red lentils
• garlicky spinach
• avocado mash
• browned broccoli
• toasted pumpkin seeds
• shaved carrots
• cucumber
• hummus

I like to prepare all the ingredients on a Sunday, and put this together throughout the week whenever I want to reach for something healthy. Happy Holidays, and hope you enjoy this throughout the season!

Ingredients:

• 1 butternut squash (peeled and diced)
• 1 tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp maple syrup
• 1 tsp freshly grated garlic or garlic powder
• 1 tsp sumac
• red lentil noodles (or any bean noodle, or bean itself will work) cooked and coated in olive oil so they won’t stick.
• 1/2 tsp finely diced garlic
• 1 extra large handful fresh spinach
• 1 cup broccoli (chopped)
• 1 avocado (cored and removed from skin)
• 2 tbsp of fresh herbs of your choice chopped (I used basil and mint.. cilantro will work nicely too!)
• juice of 1/2 a lime
• 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
• 1 carrot (shaved using a peeler)
• 1 mini cucumber (seeded and sliced)
• 2 tbsp hummus

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400. Place butternut squash in a roasting pan and coat with 1 tbsp olive oil (may need more depending on the size of your squash), maple syrup, sumac, 1 tsp garlic, salt and pepper. Roast for 35-45 minutes or until tender and brown on the edges.

2. In in a medium pan, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. Cook garlic for 30 seconds then add spinach. Cook until spinach has shrunk down, season with salt and pepper and set aside. In the same pan, brown broccoli by roasting it in the pan for about 3 minutes on each side. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, mash the avocado, fresh herbs, lime, salt and pepper until combined. Taste and adjust lime juice/seasoning to your taste.

4. Assemble your bowl. Place prepared ingredients in the bowl (squash, broccoli, spinach, noodles, avocado, carrots, cucumber) and dollop hummus in the center for dipping. Then sprinkle with crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds.

Vegan Nourish BowlVegan Nourish Bowl

Sea Bass with Lentils, Tomatoes and Asparagus

Sea Bass with Lentils, Tomatoes and Asparagus
I realized recently that although I eat meat and fish, very few of my recipes feature these ingredients. For one thing, I don’t eat it often. Secondly, when I do eat it, I eat it fairly simply. A little olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh herbs and lemon juice is all I need to brighten up a fresh piece of fish or good quality meats. I don’t like to mask the natural flavours of the protein, rather I look to enhance it. With that said, I have made a goal to start experimenting with different crusts, sauces and sides to spice up my simple protein recipes. I think its important as a cook to constantly challenge your skills and taste buds to open your world to a whole new flavour experience.

I know that many of my followers are vegetarian and vegan. I have been very open with my views on eating animal products. Eating organic grass fed beef and free range chicken works for me physically and mentally. However if this does NOT work for you, then that’s OK too. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to do what works for your mind and body. As always, all meat recipes can be swapped with your favourite vegetarian protein such as tofu, tempeh, beans etc..If your someone who does eat meat and isn’t sure where to find grass fed or free range meats take a look online! Many local farms are offering delivery services to surrounding areas for those of you looking for quality meats. You can even go to the farms and see their process so you feel 100% comfortable and satisfied with the product you receive.

Now for the recipe… This sea bass recipe can be swapped with any of your favourite white fish. It is so quick and easy to put together and leaves you feeling light yet satisfied! This recipe is for 1 serving. Just multiply the ingredients by the number of people your serving! Hope you love it.
Sea Bass with Lentils, Tomatoes and Asparagus

Ingredients:

• 1/4 cup sweet onion, sliced
• the tops of 5 asparagus spears
• 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
• 1/2 cup cooked green lentils
• 1/2 cup kale, thinly chopped
• 1 tsp fresh dill
• 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice,
• 1 tsp lemon zest
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
• 4 sprigs fresh thyme
• 6 ounce piece of sea bass or fish of choice
• salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 F.

2. In a medium skillet, heat half of the olive oil on medium heat. Add your onions, asparagus and cherry tomatoes. Allow to cook for 7-10 minutes until the asparagus is cooked through and the tomatoes begin to burst.

3. On a small baking tray, coat your fish in remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on top of thyme. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until opaque.

4. Add cooked lentils and kale to the onion mixture. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes then add fresh dill, lemon juice and zest. Put the heat to a simmer.

5. Once the fish has finished cooking. Place lentil mixture on the bottom of a plate or shallow bowl. Place fish directly on top (without the thyme) and sprinkle with more fresh lemon juice, zest, dill and thyme if desired. Bon appetit!
Sea Bass with Lentils, Tomatoes and Asparagus

Oven Roasted Tomato, Spinach Pesto and Pine Nut Pasta

Roasted Tomato, Pesto and Pine Nut Gluten Free Pasta
This pasta dish is a weeknight staple year round in my house. It is so simple and quick to throw together for dinner and to eat leftover throughout the week. It has become a favourite amongst family and friends! Cherry tomatoes get cooked down in the oven with some extra virgin olive oil, spices and garlic until they are bursting and incredibly sweet! A fresh spinach pesto adds a hearty dose of greens and healthy fats. Whats best is you can add almost any cooked vegetable (try eggplant, zucchini or steamed broccoli) and for you meat lovers, you can put in your favourite organic gluten free sausage. It is really versatile but most importantly SO delicious!

I use a mixture of zucchini noodles and brown rice noodles for this dish. Because it is vegan, having zucchini noodles on their own is often not filling enough. I also love using buckwheat or bean noodles for added protein. I hope you love this as much as I do! I’m off to Croatia, so I’ll be posting as soon as I return. Can’t wait to for new food inspiration. I’ll bring home as many recipes as I can!

Love,
Jen
Roasted Tomato, Pesto and Pine Nut Gluten Free PastaRoasted Tomato, Pesto and Pine Nut Gluten Free Pasta
Photo 2015-06-11, 11 33 18 AM

Serves 4

Ingredients:

• 4 cups cherry tomatoes (rinsed)
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 3 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
• 1 tbsp dried oregano
• pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
• 3 tbsp pine nuts
• Pasta of choice (I love brown rice, buckwheat or bean)
• spiralized zucchini (optional)
• good pinch of salt and pepper

Pesto Ingredients:

• 3 cups fresh basil leaves
• 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
• 1 large handful spinach
• 1 garlic clove
• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• zest of 1 lemon
• juice of 1 lemon
• salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In a roasting pan, coat cherry tomatoes in olive oil, garlic, oregano, chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Allow to cook for an hour or until cooked down and bursting.
3. While the tomatoes are cooking toast your pine nuts in a dry sauce pan over medium heat until the oils begin to release. Set aside.
4. Prepare your pesto by adding basil, pine nuts, spinach, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and garlic into the food processor container. Pulse until a paste forms. Slowly add in your olive oil while processing. Taste and season more if necessary.
5. When the tomatoes are almost finished cooking, cook your pasta according to directions. Drain and place back in the pot you cooked it in. Over low heat, toss with zucchini noodles (optional), pesto (add it slowly, you may not need it all) and half of the tomatoes. Break into the tomatoes! You want the juice from the tomatoes to coat the noodles with the pesto.
6. Serve in a bowl. Garnish with more tomatoes, pine nuts and a spoonful of pesto. Bon appetit!
Roasted Tomato, Pesto and Pine Nut Gluten Free Pasta