Lentil Bowl with Spicy Cashew Sauce

Lentil Bowl with Spicy Cashew Sauce
There has been so much amazing action on Instagram lately and I’ve been loving all of your feedback. This recipe was requested by you! It is one of my weeknight go-to’s. I’ve been loving having a few vegan recipes to quickly put together throughout the week. You can prepare all of the components over the weekend and utilize them in different ways throughout the week. Feel free to use your favourite veg or even switch up a different bean-the possibilities are endless! For the base of this recipe I use the crispy cauliflower brown rice that I posted last week. I make a big batch and eat it throughout the week (FYI quite delicious with fried eggs over top!). Remember that healthy eating doesn’t need to be expensive, difficult or confusing. Buy real food and spend a few hours preparing and you’re set.
Lentil Bowl with Spicy Cashew Sauce
Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

• 1 tbsp sesame oil or avocado oil
• 1/2 red onion, sliced (about 1 cup)
• 2 bell peppers, sliced
• 1 zucchini, sliced
• 1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
• 1 cup broccoli, chopped
• 3 cups cooked brown lentils (1 cup dry if cooking from scratch)
• salt
• 1 batch of Crispy Cauliflower Brown Rice
• 2 scallions thinly sliced (whites only)
• 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
• lime wedges (for serving)

Sauce Ingredients:

• 1/2 cup cashew butter (peanut or almond butter works well too!)
• 1 tsp sesame oil
• 1/4 cup rice vinegar
• 3 tbsp reduced sodium gluten free tamari
• 3 tbsp sambal oelek or sriracha
• 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
• juice of 1 lime
• 3 tbsp of water

Directions:

1. If you are cooking your own lentils, put them on the stove first. While they are cooking, heat 1 tbsp of desired oil into a large non-stick skillet over medium/high heat. Cook red onion until they soften, season with salt and add peppers. Cook for another 5 minutes.

2. Once peppers have softened, add zucchini and cook until they begin to slightly brown. Add red cabbage and allow to soften (about 6-7 minutes). Add your broccoli, stir, and turn heat to low.

3. For the sauce, add all ingredients to blender and continue to pulse until smooth.

4. Time to assemble! Add your cauliflower brown rice to a bowl, top with veggies, lentils, scallions and pumpkin seeds. Serve with the spicy cashew sauce and lime wedges.

Lentil Bowl with Spicy Cashew Sauce

Zucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger Frosting

Zucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger FrostingThere’s nothing better then having freshly baked muffins on a Sunday morning. Sometimes you need a sweet side to those scrambled eggs and that can always be especially difficult for someone who’s eating gluten free. Healthy, nutrient rich muffins are a fantastic breakfast idea for those who don’t make time for it. Even if you aren’t hungry right away, you can throw one in your bag and it’ll be ready when that mid morning hunger comes along.

Not only will get a good balance of whole grains, healthy fats and fiber, but you’ll also get a serving of veggies! Have no fear, the only way you’d know theres zucchini is by those green specks, otherwise you’d have no idea. These muffins are awesome on their own, but have added decadence from this vegan cashew ginger frosting. You can play them off as cupcakes for the little ones. As always this recipe is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free… Have a great weekend!
Zucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger FrostingZucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger FrostingZucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger FrostingZucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger FrostingZucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger FrostingZucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger FrostingZucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger Frosting

Muffin Ingredients:

• 1 ripe banana
• 1 zucchini
• 3 eggs
• 1/4 cup coconut oil (add 3 more tbsp if you like a super moist muffin)
• 3 tbsp date syrup (maple syrup or honey will work too)
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• 1 cup gluten free oat flour
• 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
• 1/2 cup coconut sugar
• 5-6 medjool dates (chopped)
• lemon zest (optional, for serving)

Frosting Ingredients

• 1 cup cashews (soaked overnight)
• 1 inch piece of ginger (finely grated)
• 3 tbsp pure maple syrup (agave or stevia to taste will work too)
• 1 1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• pinch of salt
• 1 tsp alcohol free pure vanilla extract (or vanilla powder will work, or fresh vanilla beans from pod)
• almond milk as needed

Makes 12 muffins

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with liners. In a large bowl,mash your banana until no lumps remain. Process or grate your zucchini. Then whisk into your banana mixture. Once well combined add your eggs,coconut oil, date syrup and vanilla.
2. In another medium mixing bowl, sift together remaining ingredients dry ingredients (leave out the dates).
3. Slowly add your dry ingredients to the wet until well combined. Fold in your chopped dates.
4. Using two spoons, add batter to muffin liners until 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
5. While the muffins are baking, you can make your frosting. Add all ingredients up until almond milk into a food processor or high powered blender. Add almond milk until desired consistency is reached. Store in the fridge.
6. Once muffins have cooled, frost using a blunt knife or spatula. Finish with lemon zest! Frosted muffins have to be stored in the fridge.
Zucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger FrostingZucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger FrostingZucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger Frosting

Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash

Photo 2014-07-28, 7 22 41 AM
I have only been blogging for a few months now and it has been a great learning experience. I really went into this with more confidence in my passion for cooking then in my writing. Both finding my voice and determining what exactly I want to share with my readers has been a truly interesting experience. I really don’t know if readers want to know more about me personally, less about nutritional information etc…What is so great about a blog however, is that the writing is truly reflective of a moment in time for the writer, reader etc… Today for example, I feel like showing a side that most bloggers don’t. A truly honest side that will show insecurities, mistakes and a general confession of my ‘go with the flow’ attitude. So here it goes…

To start off…I am an amateur photographer. I still have barely any idea of what I am doing with my amazing Canon Rebel. I highly recommend this camera because without any knowledge of this device I have been able to capture some pretty sumptuous looking pictures. All I know about taking great pictures is to ALWAYS use natural lighting. Most of my pictures are taken right on the windowsill. The bolognese pictures came out so horrible because I was rushing against the sun that was setting very quickly. It was already a rainy day to begin with so odds were not in my favour. In turn, my so called “food styling” was non-existent and I ended up with some pretty drab looking pictures (notice the dark/yellowish hue). But lets face it. If I wasn’t photographing this food for my blog, that would be what a home-cooked dish looked like in most homes, including my own. And that truly is why I decided to do this post. It is to encourage you to make more time to make home-cooked meals! So many people look at photographs taken in recipe books, magazines and blogs and think that they are too difficult. I always hear people say “I could never make that, I am the worst cook!” They also might think that if they make a dish and it looks slightly different in the picture that they have failed. I’m here to tell you that is simply not true.

I beg you to try to reach out of your comfort zone and try attacking a recipe you never thought possible. They don’t have to be my recipes, and they definitely don’t need to be gluten, dairy or refined sugar free. However by simply making more meals yourselves (and with loved ones) you will be more conscious of ingredients, flavours and what’s in season. Even if you are making shepherds pie, the home cooked version will always be healthier because it isn’t laced with loads of preservatives, chemicals and other gross stuff. So although my pictures don’t look as appetizing as they normally would, I am only human. I am just like you, doing the best I can. And now, on to the bolognese…

Ok, so I am sure many of you are surprised to see bolognese on here. Many of my recipes are friendly to vegans because my recipes do not contain dairy. Although I do not eat meat on a daily basis, I do still enjoy good quality meat from time to time. (Vegan readers, just skip this recipe for now and check back later!) Especially in the winter, there is nothing more comforting then diving into a bowl of brown rice spaghetti and meat sauce. By substituting the pasta with spaghetti squash, the dish has now become a summer staple. I know many clean eaters have different opinions on eating meat. But if you truly enjoy it, then there is no harm in having anything in moderation. Especially if you are getting organic, grass fed beef that has a lower fat content. That is just my philosophy, and many people will agree or disagree.

I love food too much to say NO forever to something I really enjoy. This blog is really all about that. I take foods that I truly love and adapt them to make them more wholesome and cleaner without compromising on flavour. So here is my favourite recipe for clean bolognese, I hope you enjoy!

Ps. Another error I made while making this bolognese is cutting the carrots in medallions instead of finely chopping it. By the time I got them in the pot and looked at how odd they looked in there, it was too late. But, they did taste delicious anyway.
Photo 2014-07-28, 7 14 56 AMPhoto 2014-07-28, 7 17 11 AMPhoto 2014-07-28, 4 48 09 AMPhoto 2014-07-28, 4 49 28 AM

Ingredients:

• 1 spaghetti squash
• 1 lb organic, grass fed lean ground beef
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 carrots (chopped fine)
• 2 yellow onions (chopped)
• 3 cloves garlic (minced)
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
• 1/2 tsp himalayan salt
• 1 tsp ground pepper
• 1 can San Marzano tomatoes
• 3 tbsp tomato paste
• 1 cup dry red wine (don’t cheap out here, make sure you would drink it with a meal)
• 3-5 drops stevia (optional)
• fresh basil (for serving)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Slice spaghetti squash in half, remove seeds and place on sheet pan and bake for one hour. I also bake the seeds on the pan and eat them later on! Pull strings out using a fork and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Cook onions, garlic and carrots until the onions are translucent and no longer firm.
3.Add oregano, chilli flakes, salt, pepper and beef. Cook beef until it is no longer pink.
4. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Break down the tomatoes using the back of a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for at least 35-40 minutes.
5. Add red wine and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add stevia (or other sweetener) if you would like the sauce to be more sweet.
6. Simmer on low for another 10-20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the moisture has mostly cooked out.
7. Pour sauce over spaghetti squash and top with fresh basil.
Photo 2014-07-28, 7 23 24 AMPhoto 2014-07-28, 7 24 21 AM