Oat & Lentil Loaf (Vegan & Gluten Free)

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I know Meat Loaf has a bad rap as being boring, but its always been a comfort food for me! So this has been my attempt at finding  a healthy alternative.

So far this is the best vegetable oat loaf I’ve made, its moist and full of flavor, now lets see if my better half notices there’s no meat!!

Remember to soak your lentils as it helps to reduce the cooking time and apparently makes them easier to digest.

Use Chia Seeds as a binder instead of Eggs, unless you insist on eggs then I digress.

I turned my slices of loaf into filler for Collard green wraps- soooooo goood!🙂

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Ingredients:

Egg Re-placer:

2 Tbsp Chia Seeds- Whole or grind them
1/4 Cup Water

Loaf
1 Cup of Dried Lentils- Soak in water until they swell up to 2 cups (about 4 hours)
2 Cups  Vegtable Broth
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Onion, Finely Diced
1/2 Jalapeno Pepper, Diced
1 Red Bell Pepper,  Diced
2 Carrots, Shredded (1 cup)
1 Cups Kale or Collard Greens, Roughly Chopped
2 Stalksof Celery, Diced
1.5 Cups Oats (GF)
1/2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Curry Powder

Glaze
3 Tbsp’s  Ketchup (organic)
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup (pure)

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Directions

Step 1. Soak your lentils for at least 4 hours or until doubled in size.

Step 2. Once soaked cook your lentils in 2 cups broth for about 15-20 minutes on medium heat in a stock pot. Once all the broth has evaporated remove from the element and cool for ten minutes so that it thickens.

Step 3. Blend half of your lentil mixture with half a cup of water until smooth.

Step 4.  While your lentils are cooking, add the ground chia to a small bowl, and pour water over- stir well and set aside for 10 minutes to form gel.

Step 5- Dice & Grate all of the veggies above & saute with a teaspoon of Coconut Oil. I usually start with the celery and onion and after a minute or two add the remaining vegetables and hot pepper. Cook on medium heat until soft. Set aside.

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Step 6. Using your blender or Vitamix churn half of your oats into course oat flower.

Step 7. In a large mixing bowl add all of the ingredients except the pureed lentils and chia gel. Mix until everything is thoroughly coated, then add the pureed lentils and gel until its fully incorporated. If its to dry feel free to add a little water.

Step 8. Scoop the mixture into a parchment lined 9 x 5 loaf pan. Press in firmly to help it stick together. I used a glass pie plate, because I think its prettier!

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Step 9. Whisk your ketchup, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup together in a small bowl and pour over top of the loaf and spread evenly over the top. Pop it in the oven at 350 for about 40 minutes. Cool & Serve.
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Trust me the leftovers are even better! You can always make this the day before and warm up for lunch or diner! Enjoy! And play around with different spices that you may prefer!

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Curried Okra Popcorn!

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Okay so I’ve posted this recipe already, but I can’t help my self to add it again because its just so good and easy and I really want you to eat it!

Okra is actually a  fruit that is super low in calories & sugar. It is also known for it’s high fiber content, vitamin k, vitamin c, and folate content,

I usually cut the okra length wise, but this time i cut them in cute little stars sideways and they were so much better! They crisped up and held there shape better than there lengthwise counterparts, not to mention you get to take advantage of the adorable shape of the okra !!🙂

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Ingredients:

2 Cups of Fresh Okra

1 Teaspoon Coconut Oil

1/2 Teaspoon Curry Powder

1 Tablespoon Corn Flour

Salt & Pepper

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Preheat your oven- Broil on High

Directions:

Step 1- Slice your cleaned Okra sideways into bite sized pieces about 1cm each.

Step 2- Coat the okra pieces in the oil and then toss with curry powder. Once evenly distributed add the flour and shake up until the pieces until fully covered.

Step 3- Broil on high heat for about 4-5 minutes until browned, then flip and brown the other side about 4-5 minutes.  Remove from oven & add salt & pepper to taste.

Enjoy!!  Serves 1.

Wild Rice & Acorn Squash Casserole- Vegetarian & Gluten Free

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For my vegetarian days, this casserole is a life saver. It is the perfect multi-functional staple that packs a hearty punch to keep you full.

You can use it as a main dish, side, soup base, or salad. This time I put about a cup on top of two cups of arugula and had it as a salad, there is so much flavor you do not need to add a dressing.

Another great way to use the casserole is as filling for enchiladas instead of using meat, or it makes a wonderful filling for wraps using Collard Green Leaves. Experiment!

Make sure you soak your lentils for at least 4 hours, or even better over night.

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Ingredients:

1 Small Acorn Squash
1.5 Cups Wild Rice
1 Cup Soaked Lentils
4 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 Small Onion
1 Stalk of Celery
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 Sweet Red Pepper
3 Kale Leaves
1 Tablespoon Oil
1 Tsp Diced  Fresh Thyme
(1/2 Cup) Grated Cheese
Salt & Pepper

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Directions:

Step 1– Cut your acorn squash in half and place in a shallow pan with about half a cup of water, and roast at 350 f, for about 25 minutes until soft. Remove from oven and let cool.

Step 2. Pour your rice, soaked lentils  and broth into a stock pot and cook at medium heat until soft and the water has evaporated about 30-40 min. (You can use a rice cooker if you would like)

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Step 3. In a skillet on medium heat, add your oil along with all of your bite sized vegetables ( Onion, Garlic, Celery, Red Pepper and Kale) and saute until soft.

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Step 4. Dice your roasted acorn squash into bite size pieces and mix with your rice and lentil mixture until it starts to break down a bit, then place in  your sauteed veggies and spread out into a casserole dish.

Step 5. Add your cheese on top and broil until browned. Remove & Serve.

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Creamy Smoked Portabello Mushroom Soup

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I made this soup as a starter, but it stole the show, and next time it will be the star!

It tastes like it should be bad for you, but its really not. The mushrooms smooth out this soup with out adding a ton of heavy cream or oil. And because the mushrooms have such a subtle flavour you need very little smoked Gouda to pack a punch.

This a perfect autumn meal and you won’t be disappointed, nor will you ever buy pre-made mushroom soup again!!

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Ingredients:

4 Large Portobello Mushrooms
1/2 Tablespoon Oil
1 Celery Stalk
1 Small Onion
1 Carrot
1 Tsp Thyme
1/2 Tsp Worcestershire
1 Tsp Salt ( I used sea salt with truffles)
3 Cups of Water
1 Cup Half and Half Cream
1/2 Cup Shredded Smoked Gouda
Green Onions & Cracked Pepper for Garnish

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Directions:

Step 1. Dice your onion, carrot, celery and mushrooms. Reserve 1/4 of the mushrooms and throw all of the other ingredients into a stock pot with your oil. Sauté for several minutes.

Step 2. Add the 3 cups of water to the simmering vegetables along with your fresh diced thyme and bring to a slow boil for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

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Step 3. While your base is simmering, sauté the remaining mushrooms with the Worcestershire until soft and set aside.

Step 4. Remove pot from stove and allow mixture to cool.Once cooled down add to your vitamix or blender and blend on high speed until smooth.  Pour back into your stock pot.

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Step 5. Add your cream, shredded Gouda, reserved mushrooms and warm slightly until the Gouda has incorporated. Garnish with your green onions & cracked pepper.

Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a meal.

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Quinoa & Oat Breakfast Bars- Vegan & Gluten Free

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Breakfast Bars!  I’m never hungry in the morning so its a chore to eat. But I absolutely need a coffee, these little bars are a perfect companion. Small and full of flavour but not overbearing.

The oats provide fibre, the quinoa and sunflower seeds add a dose of protein,  while the raw cacao nibs add some flavour and are packed with antioxidants.

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Quinoa & Oat Breakfast Bars- Gluten Free

Makes one 9×9-inch pan cut into squares.

2 Ripe Bananas
1 Cup Rolled Oats
1 Cup Quinoa Cooked
1/4 Cup Raisins
2 Tbsp Raw Cocoa Nibs
1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds
1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Tsp Vanilla

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Preheat oven to 350°F

Grease a 9×9-inch square baking dish with coconut oil.

Step 1. Mash the bananas until there are no clumps.

Step 2. Grab a mixing bowl, and add all your ingredients. Mix thoroughly until everything is incorporated.

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Step 3. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F or until the edges start to pull away from the pan. When its completely cooled cut into bars. If you would like a dryer breakfast bar, put your oven at 300F and cook for an hour (check on them half way in).

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Beet and Goat Cheese Soufflé – Gluten Free

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Beet and Goat Cheese Soufflé

Well autumn is officially upon us and I’m trying to look at the bright side, squash and roasted root veggies are on the top of my list!

I can’t get enough beets, they are wonderful eaten raw in smoothies or salads, baked in red velvet cupcakes or muffins, and last but not least roasted with other veggies.

This soufflé is gorgeous and I love serving it to guests, the goat cheese really helps to smooth out the flavour of the beets and you cant beat that natural colour!

These bad boys stay hot for quiet a while so you can pop them out of the oven and have ten minutes to prepare a side salad or what not.

Ingredients
1 1/4 Cups Gluten Free flour
1 tsp Xanthium Gum
1/2 Cup Cold Butter
3 Tablespoons Ice Water

For the filling:
3 Medium Beets or 6 Small Beets
128 grams-Small Package of goat cheese
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt(or Sour Cream)
1/4 Cup of Water
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
1/4 Tsp Salt
Kosher Salt, to sprinkle on top

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Directions

Step 1. Roast your beets at 400°F for between 45 minutes to an hour or until soft in the middle.

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Step 2. Next start your crust by adding your gluten free flour and xanthium gum in a mixing bowl. Add your butter, and using two butter knifes cut it into the flour until it resembles small crumbs.

Step 3. Add the water one table spoon at a time and knead until it forms a dough. Roll into a bowl, wrap in plastic and place in the fridge for it to rest for 20 minutes.

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Step 4. After your dough has settled, divide into four balls and roll each out on a floured surface. Place into each 4 6-oz greased ramekins or a pie plate, if using ramekins put on a cookie sheet for easier handling. Set them in the fridge until you are ready to pour in your batter.

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Step 5. Using your vitamix or food processor- place in the roasted beets along with the water, goat cheese and greek yoghurt.  Blend until smooth. Then add the eggs, salt, nutmeg and blend for another 20 seconds to evenly distribute everything.

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Step 6. Pour the filling into the ramekins and bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes, until the crust is browned and the middle is set.

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Serves 4.

Young Coconut & Fresh Strawberry Smoothie

 

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After a night of not eating as healthy as we should….ahem…late night poutine, I needed a little boost first thing in the morning!

I admit these young coconuts are expensive, unless I can find a reasonable supplier they will be off the table, at 4$ a pop they are a little much, but usually you can find them for half of that at smaller speciality markets.

Its super easy to open a young coconut, using a sharp knife, shave the top of the coconut until you see the rounded top, then using a large heavy knife you put the coconut on its side and hit the top creating a lid, make sure you keep your other hand at a safe distance like behind your back!!!  And pop the coconut back up side before you open the lid so you don’t spill the coconut water.

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Ingredients

1 Young Coconut- Water & the Meat

1 Cup Fresh Strawberries

Directions:

Step 1. Open your coconut as directed above & pour the water into your blender.

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Step 2. Using a spoon scrape out all of the fresh coconut meat & place it in the blender with the coconut water.

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Step 3. Toss in your cleaned strawberries and blend until smooth! If you prefer a colder smoothie, throw your strawberries in the freezer for 30 minutes before you blend!

Enjoy- Serves 1

 

Fresh Ginger Beer Concentrate

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Oh ginger! This recipe keeps in the fridge for up to three weeks, but I guarantee that it will be gone long before that! The first time I had ginger beer we were visiting family in Florida and and it was super potent but I really enjoyed it! What I love about this concentrate is that you can make your drink as gingery as you like!

Just pour about one ounce of your concentrate over ice with a fresh squeeze of lime and fill the rest of your glass with sparkling water and viola! If you prefer it a little spicier just add more ginger concentrate!

Also if you add a little spiced rum, its so delish!! But truth be told I just really enjoy it sans alcohol!

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Ingredients

Ginger- 2 Cups-  Peeled & Roughly Chopped

Limes- 2 Peeled

Maple Syrup-1/4 to 1/2 a cup ( Sweeten to taste)

Filtered Water- 1.5 Cups

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Directions

Step 1. Peel & Dice your ginger & throw it into your vitamix along with your filtered water;

Step 2. Peel your limes and add them to the Vitamix, blend until the ginger has been completely pulverized.

Step 3. Using a mesh strainer strain the mixture and reserve the juice. I always save the pulp and use it to make tea.

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Step 3. Add your Maple syrup or honey to the juice mixture and mix well.  I use a 1/4 cup of maple syrup but if you’d like it sweeter add up to 1/2 a cup. Pour your mixture into a reusable glass bottle and store in the fridge for up to three weeks.

To make your ginger beer- Just add 1 ounce to 2 ounces of concentrate (depending on how strong you like it) over ice with a dash of lime and fill the rest of your glass with sparkling water or club soda.

 

Quinoa Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Quinoa Blueberry Lemon Muffins

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A few days on the lake and you build up an appetite! These muffins were a perfect snack in-between meals! Although not gluten free- I used spelt flour which is easier to digest than wheat flour. My aunt and I made these muffins based off of author Patricia Green’s recipe from her book Quinoa 365, however we made some healthier changes substituting the oil and sugar for coconut based products.

Ingredients

1 Cup of Cooked Quinoa
1 1/4 Cup of Flour (I used spelt)
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
1 Zest of a Lemon
3/4 Cup Coconut Sugar
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup Yoghurt
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Egg or 4 Tbsp of Chia Gel (1 Tbsp Chia seed mixed with 3 Tbsp Water)
1 Juice of 1 Lemon
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup of Fresh or Frozen Blueberries

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Step 1. line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners.

Step 2. In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt together. Then mix in the cooked quinoa and lemon zest.

Step 3. Whisk the coconut sugar and coconut oil together, until combined.

Step 4. Add the yogurt, egg or egg replacer, lemon juice and vanilla into the sugar mixture, stir until everything is blended.

Step 5. Add your wet & dry ingredients together then add your blueberries into the combined mixture.
Pour the batter into the lined muffin tray and bake for 25 minutes or until slightly browned.

Yields 12 Muffins

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Tri Color Carrot Pasta- Gluten Free

The worlds easiest pasta!!! No rolling, kneading, drying, or guilty feelings! This is probably the laziest post I’ve made and I highly recommend that you make it! Its packed with flavour, has an al dente texture and you can even trick your loved ones into eating eat it! (Yes, that just sounded like a bad infomercial)

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I picked up a hefty bag of mixed carrots, orange, yellow, and purple from the farmers market! You need about 3-4 carrots per person for a main serving, half that if its just a side. When was the last time you sat down and ate 4 carrots!

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Directions:

Step 1- Wash your carrots and using a regular peeler, peel each carrot until your left with a pile of strands.

Step 2– Turn your skillet to medium heat and add a teaspoon of coconut oil (or your favourite oil) and warm it until you reach your desired texture.  I just lightly warm mine for 30 seconds, but if you cook it for a minute or two it will soften considerably for those who want a more pasta like texture.

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Step 3- Add your favourite pasta sauce, basil pesto or sun-dried tomato pairs wonderfully with this dish. Garnish with your favourite greens and voilà!

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