Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

It's finally starting to rain here, which is a welcome break from the humidity we've been getting lately. Although I hear that Mother Nature is being quite moody back in Canada, so I am feeling good about having to deal with humidity instead of snow...


That beign said, we get colder days now and a nice warm bowl of oatmeal is a nice treat in the evenings to enjoy warm food again without sweating. Although, mango season is now in full swing and I cannot get enough of them. They are like nature's candy!


As a kid, I usually had my oatmeal the same way every time; plain with heaps of brown sugar on top. Simple and delicious paired with a few slices of toast to dip in. Now I like to play around with the flavors I can achieve. The Carrot Cake oatmeal is a result of said play time.


The first gluten free cake I ever baked (successfully) was a heavily spiced carrot cake smothered in cream cheese icing. While this bowl lack the icing portion, it more than satisfies any craving that may arise.


I also noticed lately that oatmeal has become somewhat of a food trend in the blogging world, overnighted, baked it comes in a million different methods and flavors now. Gone are the days of pouches of quicks oats with mystery powders and dried fruit to bring flavor to a staple.


I have to say, that I am very happy I will never eat one of those again. I mean, I loved them at the time, but looking at the long list of ingredients on those things now has me running for the produce aisle.


Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Ingredients:

- 3/4 cup coarse raw sugar*
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 cups quick oats
- 2 cups finely shredded carrots
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 cup raisins

* If you are using a fine sugar, reduce to 1/2 cup

In a medium sauce pan, bring the sugar and water to a boil and let thicken. Keep an eye on it so that is doesn't burn and stir often.

In another pot, cook the oatmeal with the carrots and spices with as much water as you prefer. I usually use a 1:1 ratio.

Once the oatmeal is cooked, stir in the caramel and raisins.

Enjoy!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Red Bean Curry Soup

RAIIINNNN!

After a very dry month or so, this place was in dire need of some rain. Especially after the last few days where it was SO humid and looked like rain, but really it was just a tease. Hopefully this helps with the ridiculous humidity, I've seen better hair days.


Now I know that most of readers are still battling winter. Which is why I thought this recipe would be most suitable to post. A warming curry soup is all one needs to soothe the weather grumpies.


This recipe is also a quickie. If you pre-cook your rice and beans, or used canned, it comes together in less than 30 minutes.


I had to get a bit creative since lentils (my go-to) are sparse and expensive in these parts but fresh beans are a-plenty and delicious. You know they are going to be good when the people at the market are shelling them on the spot.


Curry and I have been very good friends since I went plant-based. I actually wasn't introduced to Indian food formally until after the change. I became an addict pretty quickly and was extremely sad when my favorite restaurant burnt down. I've never been able to find a replacement for it. It was that good!


So I decided to try to master the curry at home instead, see if I could get close. My Channa Masala is always a crowd pleaser and I love experimenting with different cuisines. This one is definitely going to be added to my Indian dinner party foods.


Red Bean Curry Soup

Ingredients:

- 2 cups cooked red beans
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, sliced
- 2 roasted red peppers, sliced
- 2-3 cups water or veg broth
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- S/P to taste

In a medium-large saucepan, water sauté the onions until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and curry powder and cook for another 3 mins stirring often to prevent burning and adding water as needed. Dump in the rest of the ingredeints and simmer for about 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

You can top with fresh tomatoes and sour cream of choice.

Enjoy!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Tex-Mex Stacks

This post is officially the most time consuming one I have ever posted. 

Not because the recipe was complicated or anything. But because our internet suddenly decided to go back in time to the 90's and act like dial up. 


I think the total time with page loading, image uploading and waiting for other various things to work properly, this will have taken me 6-7 hours to get up on here. If that doesn't display passion and perseverance, I don't know what does!


On the other hand, this may be curbing my social media obsession, Pinterest is impossible to load right now...


Back to the food! This little beauty came to life from various leftovers and odd and ends I had to use up. It comes together in a second if you have cooked rice and potatoes ready to go. The tex-Mex flavors are strong and delicious. You can also amp up the heat with a generous coating of hot sauce.


I was going through quite the roasting phase for awhile and I think the way the tomatoes came out on this was the reason for it. I've started making my own salsa and hot sauces as a result and I don;t think I'll ever go back to buying them pre-made.


You can easily make this recipe fat-free by omitting the guac and the coconut cream if you are monitoring those macros. Although the plantains dipped in guac are sooooo good!


Tex-Mex Stacks
Ingredients:

1.5 cups refried beans
4 tomatoes, sliced
4 cups rice, cooked
2 large potatoes, sliced
1 recipe guacamole
4 tbsp coconut cream (coconut meat and water blended)
Oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes, S/P

In a casserole dish layer the ingredients as follows: potato, refried beans, rice, potato, tomato. Sprinkle with the spices as desired.

Bake at 350F until heated through and the tomatoes are cooked.

Top with guacamole and coconut cream and serve with baked plantains. 

Enjoy!





Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Pineapple Sorbet

I like to keep it really simple most days, and Wednesday posts is where I really want to showcase how eating very simply can be amazingly delicious and satisfying.


I was looking through my list of recipes that we're already photographed and realized I didn't really have anything that would fit that mission. Until I dug through some realllllllyyy old pictures I had taken in Toronto when I had no idea what taking a good food pic meant!


It's great to really see the progress I've made over the last 9 months though.


This pineapple treat could not be easier to make. It requires a bit of pre-planning to cut and prep the pineapple for freezing (or you can just buy it frozen). But other than that, all you need is a good blender or food processor and you are set. 

Did you know that its takes about 2 years for a pineapple to grow to maturity?


This is the type of recipe that really got me into raw foods in the first place. The ease in which you can make a wide variety of frozen treats is astounding. The variety is limitless and you can have ice cream for breakfast. Score!!


Sorbet has always been one of my favorite frozen treats and while you can find plenty of vegan choices at the grocer store, many of them have dairy and/or gelatin of all things. Not to mention preservatives and all those nasties. So why not whip up a little pineapple goodness in the comfort of your own kitchen?



Pineapple Sorbet

- 1-2 large ripe pineapples, cut into chunks and frozen overnight

This is as simple and delicious as can be. Dump all your pineapple into your food processor with the S blade. Process until smooth.

Note: You may want to let the pineapple defrost a bit before processing, it’ll make it easier and faster.


Enjoy!

Monday, 24 March 2014

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Breakfast around here always involves fruit, which is why not many traditional breakfasty and sweet recipes make it to this blog. But I am working to change that since all of us have sweet tooths and I want to start including many more fruit-centric recipes.


This Apple Pie Oatmeal reminds me of being a kid, but 1000% times better since we used to eat the instant sachets of oatmeal before school and had the more wholesome stuff on the weekends with brown sugar.


The apples are easily prepared in advance so if you do want to have this for breakfast you can whip it all up in no time (we have it for dinner since eating fruit all day works the best for me).


I used Royal Gala apples since they are my favorite. I've read that they aren't the best choice for this kind of recipe but I'm not really one to follow rules. They kept their shape and the texture was my cup of tea. I think softer apples are usually chosen to make pies.


Although it's all green and sunny in these pictures, this recipe is perfect for those cold winter days. Nothing like a little warm comforting oatmeal with toast to brighten up a dreary cloudy day. Is it weird that I find oatmeal to be one of the most comforting foods?


I guess comfort food to me is warm, nourishing and familiar, for the most part. Really, I think that all food is comforting in it's own way and I like to stick to the healthier stuff. Associating healthy and nutritious foods to comfort make being healthy delicious and satisfying.




Apple Pie Oatmeal
 Ingredients:

- 4 medium apples, diced
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Cinnamon to taste
- 1.5 cups quick oats

Start off making the apple caramel. In a medium pot, combine apples with the sugar and cinnamon and a splash of water. One medium-high heat, cook until syrupy and the apples have softened up. This can be made beforehand and stored in the fridge until needed.

When ready to eat, cook oatmeal according to instructions and add in half the apple caramel. Use the rest to top or just throw it all in.

Enjoy!




Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Mango Chutney

Mango season is upon us!

To me, this is a truly epic time of year, seeing as mangoes are one of my most favorite staple fruits that are only amazing a few times a year. (Not to mention so much more affordable!)


However, there comes a time where they aren't so great, a bad batch or you cut them before they are actually ripe because you;re just TOO excited to get in on the mango goodness.


This is where Mango Chutney comes to the rescue. We we're a little too excited and jumped the ship on waiting for the mangoes to be be truly in season down here. So it resulted in a few not so great mangoes that neither of us wanted to eat raw. It's not that they were bad per say, they just lacked the amazing mango-ness that we expected and we're less sweet than expected.


This recipe is super easy to make and delicious as a condiment on pretty much anything. We had it that night along with some simple Thai Yellow Curry with rice. I also love it on baked potatoes or quinoa.



Mango Chutney
Fixings:

- 1.5 cups diced onion
- 5-6 mangoes, diced or sliced
- 1 cup pineapple, diced
- 1 generous cup raw sugar
- ¾ cup vinegar
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp fresh turmeric, minced very well.

In a large pot, cook the onion with some water until translucent. Add in all the spices and cook for about 2 minutes, or until you can smell the spicyness. 

Add in the mangoes and pineapple and let cook for a few minutes to mingle the flavors. Add in the sugar and vinegar. Cook for about 30 mins stirring often to prevent burning. You'll know when it's ready from the thick jam like texture of it all. Let it cool and put in in a sealed glass jar in the fridge.

Not sure how long it lasts, cause here it's always devoured within a few days. 

Enjoy!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Lemon Roasted Potatoes

Coming out of a 3 day water fast, I am seriously more appreciative of food. I did it for several reasons, I have some health issues that are being stubborn and need to be addressed but no way of getting any tests at the moment without a massive bill at the end of it all. It is not something I would generally recommend anyone to do without having actual health issues. It's no juice fast.


The intensity was manageable until the last day, where the watermelon waiting for me was just looking far too good to resist. My goal was to do three days, so I am prettyyyyy happy about it. I'm now in the "re-feeding" process and taking a few days to a few weeks to keep my diet uber simple and very high raw if not 100%.


Good thing I plan ahead and makes recipes ahead of time. These lemon roasted potatoes are amazing and reminiscent of the greek potatoes you can get at fast food places (without all the fat and sodium).


I have a salt addiction and I always find that adding lemon or lime to my dishes instead of copious amounts of salt usually satisfies me. Or at least has me adding only a smidgen or it instead. Also, my partner isn;t a big fan of added salt and prefers to have none, so I compromise and often only add some to my portion.


Enough of my babbling: presenting Lemon roasted Potatoes for your viewing and munching pleasure!




Lemon Roasted Potatoes


- 2lbs potatoes
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon rind, grated
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- S/P to taste

Pre-heat oven to 375F

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and then toss in the taters and coat. Leave them to soak up all the goodness for at least 20 mins, up to 1 and a half hours. Make sure to toss it all now and again to coat. If you are going to marinate for a longer time period, put it covered in the fridge.

Spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, liquids and all. 

Bake for 45 mins to an hour.

Enjoy!


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