Miso Vegan Power Bowl

Photo 2015-03-27, 12 14 48 PM
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!

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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

Baked Falafel Bowl

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Falafel is a go-to vegetarian comfort food across the Middle East. While traveling in Israel I had many falafels, which are traditionally served in a pita with pickled vegetables, hummus, or a tahini based-sauce. The name is often confused or interchanged with equally delicious shawarma which is various meats cooked on a spit. Falafel is traditionally made with chickpeas, flour and spices then deep fried for an amazingly crunchy snack or meal. I eventually had to stop eating the falafel because of how sick I felt which was most likely from the combination of deep-frying and gluten.

I am so excited about this recipe! Finally, I have found a way however to enjoy falafel stomachache-free and with no bloating. Keep in mind however; chickpeas do contain sugars that humans cannot digest so if eaten in mass quantities some digestive upsets can occur. These falafels are gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian. I personally love eating out of bowls, mugs, cups etc… It is weird but I always preferred a platter to a sandwich. I like making my own little combinations on my fork or mini sandwiches with gluten free pita on the side. I placed mine in a bowl with grated carrot, Israeli salad, brown rice, pumpkin seeds and my homemade hummus! Feel free to wrap yours in a whole grain pita, top on quinoa or place on top of salad (which I had for lunch the next day, yummy!)

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Serves 2-3

Falafel Ingredients:

•One 15-oz. can chickpeas, well drained or 2 cups fresh (see my homemade hummus recipe for directions)
•1 french shallot or 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
•2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
•1/4 cup almond flour (you could also use chickpea flour)
•3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh parsley
•1 1/2 tbsp (about 3 cloves) chopped garlic
•1/2 tbsp ground coriander
•1/2 tbsp ground cumin
•3/4 tsp salt
•1/2 tsp baking powder
•1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
•1/8 tsp paprika, or more to taste
• a few dashes hot sauce
• salt and pepper, to taste

Bowl Ingredients:

• 3 carrots grated (I used a box grater)
• 4 radish thinly sliced (optional)
• 1 1/2 cups short grain brown or wild rice
• 2 tomatoes diced
• 1/2 cup diced cucumber
• 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
• a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice
• 2 tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds or toasted sesame seeds
• 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
homemade hummus (store bought is fine too!)
• fresh lemon wedges for serving
• salt and pepper to taste

Makes about 18 Falafel (Serves 3-4 people)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Combine all falafel ingredients except 1 tablespoon olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 10 seconds. Stop motor and scrape down sides of bowl, then pulse for another 10 seconds, until all ingredients are well incorporated but mixture is still slightly coarse and grainy.
3. Using a tablespoon, scoop mixture out and form into balls. Brush with remaining tablespoon olive oil.
4. Bake on a cookie sheet for about 40-45 minutes, making sure to flip half way through until brown and crisp.
5. While the falafel is cooking, prepare the rice (follow directions on bag) and grate carrots.
6. For the israeli salad: Mix in a small bowl cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, red wine vinegar and lemon juice, salt and pepper.
7. Toast pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds in the oven at 350 F for 10 minutes or in on medium heat in a dry pan until the oil is released.
8. Arrange falafel, rice, carrots, israeli salad, hummus and seeds. Top with tahini or extra hot sauce! YUM!

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Buckwheat Mushroom Risotto with Squash and Toasted Hazelnuts

Photo 2014-11-20, 6 17 49 PM
I’ve gotten a lot of requests for some recipes that are both comforting and healthy at the same time. Without added cream, butter or gluten for that matter, it can feel like a daunting task to make a dish comforting. But, as we now know, my goal is for no one to have to miss out on anything because of food allergies or dietary choices. So keep checking in for lots of delicious, warm your soul kind of meals/desserts to keep you toasty right through winter.

Risotto in particular is a meal you associate with butter and/or cream. It is so delicious but can be entirely too rich and heavy for me. The risotto I have created is equally as satisfying without the heaviness and stomachache you would get from the restaurant variety. That being said, this makes a great side for any protein source be it meat, beans or tofu. How about turkey? The combination of earthy mushrooms and sweet butternut squash with crunchy hazelnuts just screams holiday! Don’t you think? This can be a perfect stuffing substitute for your gluten/dairy – free guests!

Besides for its delicious flavour, this meal packs a big nutritional punch. I used a combination of porcini, oyster and portobello mushrooms which deliver cancer fighting properties and can lower cholesterol. Many people don’t know that Buckwheat isn’t actually a grain but comes from a plant (despite its grainy appearance). It ranks low on the glycemic scale which keeps your blood sugars levelled – which helps prevent weight gain and obesity. Most importantly, this recipe is DELICIOUS and gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. Happy holidays and bon appetit!
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Ingredients:

• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (divided)
• 1 butternut squash (cubed)
• 2 french shallots (finely chopped)
• 3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
• 3 tbsp toasted hazelnuts (chopped)
• 2 cups mushrooms chopped (I used a mix of oyster and portobello… choose your favourite!)
• 1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
• 1 cup buckwheat groats
• 1 cup boiling water
• 2 cups vegetable broth
• 1/2 tsp dried oregano
• 1/2 tsp fresh or dried thyme
• 3 tsp apple cider vinegar
• 2 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)
• salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350. On a large baking sheet, coat chopped butternut squash in 1 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 45-60 min. Allow to cool.
2. In a bowl, place dried porcini mushrooms with boiling water and allow to reconstitute for 10 minutes.Place vegetable broth in a stock pot over medium heat and have a ladle on hand.
3. In a large skillet, heat remaining olive oil on medium heat. Add your shallots and cook until translucent and soft. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes or until mushrooms have reduced down. Add 1/2 tsp salt.
4. Add 1 cup of buckwheat into skillet along with oregano and thyme. Sautée for 2 minutes and then add 1 ladle broth. Stir until buckwheat absorbs all the liquid, then add another ladle of broth. Continue to do this until all the broth is absorbed, then add 1/2 of the porcini liquid and stir until absorbed. Add remaining porcini liquid. Chop the reconstituted porcini mushrooms and add to buckwheat mixture. Add apple cider vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
5. Toast hazelnuts in a dry pan for about 5 minutes or until oils are released.
6. Carefully toss cooked butternut squash into the buckwheat mixture. Top with fresh chopped parsley and toasted hazelnuts.

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