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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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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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

 

Peach, Blueberry, Spinach & Avocado Smoothie

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It’s the weekend and this is my breakfast hangover cure!  I like to have a coffee before I eat just to help wake me up and gain an appetite. So I usually slice up my fruit and put it in the freezer for an hour before I blend it to help give the smoothie a nice chill.

Serves 2 for your partner in crime.

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Ingredients:

1 Avocado- Sliced
2 Peaches- Sliced
1/2 Cup- Blueberries
2 Cups Spinach
1 Cup Almond Milk
Ice Cubes

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Directions:

Step 1- Add your spinach to the vitamix, then add all your additional fruit followed by your almond milk. If you want it to be colder go ahead an add a few ice cubes on top. Blend until smooth.

Step 2- Enjoy.

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Cilantro, Cucumber & Watermelon Shake

3It has been so hot out the last few days I have no appetite whatsoever. Not that I’m complaining after a week of indulgence on our vacation!

Something refreshing is in order for breakfast, so I whipped up this super easy shake full of fibre, natural sweetness, and detoxing properties.

The colour is not as charming as you may like if your serving it for friends, but it tastes great and you can peel your cucumber for a lighter colour! Chill for a few minutes if you like a colder smoothie!

22Ingredients

1 Cup Diced Cucumber

2 Cups Diced Watermelon

1 Handful of Cilantro

11Directions

Step 1- Throw your cucumber, watermelon and cilantro in your Vitamix or blender and blend until smooth.

Step 2- Enjoy!

Serves 2

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Garlic Flowers & Tomato Sauce over Raw Zucchini Pasta

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Visiting family in Toronto this weekend I was introduced to fresh garlic flowers!

My sister in law created a braided strand for us to bring back to Montreal- my husband was not impressed by the smell however we did not have to worry about a vampire attack on the drive home. 🙂

I love the smell and taste of these little bulbs and was excited to create something to showcase there delicious yet subtle taste.

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As you can tell from my last few posts I’m loving the zucchini noodle pasta!

Ingredients:

1 Cup Tomato Sauce (I used some frozen sauce I had leftover from a larger batch)

2-3 Basil Leaves

2 Garlic Flower Heads

1/2 Teaspoon Coconut Oil

Sea Salt

Shaved Greens from the Garlic Stalk- for Garnish (use a regular peeler)

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Directions:

Step 1– Spirlize or slice your zucchini into noodle size strips and line on a paper towel, sprinkle with sea salt and set aside until your pasta sauce is ready. You salt it to remove excess water and crisp your strands.

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Step 2- Lightly sauté your flower heads in the coconut oil for 1-2 minutes.

Step 3- Add your pasta sauce & Basil and heat for about five minutes to infuse all the flavours.

Step 4-Now that your sauce is ready, lightly wring out your zucchini with the paper towel and rub off as much of the salt as you can.

Step 5- Toss your zucchini into the pan to lightly warm it up in the sauce, plate, and garnish with your strands of garlic stock.

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Baked Acorn Squash w/Kale & Sun-dried Tomatoes- Vegan & Gluten Free

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A wonderful hearty meal that keeps you full but does not weigh you down! Its great the way it is but I have a soft spot for Sriracha and doused it! 🙂

This is a super easy recipe to make and looks gorgeous served directly into the shell! Paired with a light salad it makes a great summer meal! Try it for your “meatless Tuesday”!

Ingredients
1 Acorn Squash
1 Cup Quinoa
1.5 Cups Vegetable Broth
2 Cups Kale- Diced (Stem removed)
3 Green Onions- Diced
2 Talbspoons-Sun Dried Tomatoes- Diced
1 Teaspoon Coconut oil

Directions

Step 1– Halve your acorn squash, remove seeds and bake on a cookie sheet shell side up for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until soft. Pour a little water onto your cookie sheet to help steam the squash.

Step 2. While your acorn squash is baking put your quinoa and vegetable broth in a stock pot and cook on medium heat until all of the water is absorbed, remove from heat & fluff with a fork. (about fifteen min)

Step 3. In a skillet add your coconut oil, sun-dried tomatoes, kale and green onion and sauté for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Step 4.  When your qunioa is done mix the ingredients from your skillet into the stock pot and stuff your acorn squash until both halves are overflowing.  Pop them back in the oven for a few minutes & serve with a fresh side salad. You can add your favourite vegan cheese on top if you would like before popping them back in the oven.

No Bake Coconut Cream Pie- Vegan & Gluten Free

5Coconut Cream Pie

I wish I could find young coconuts but alas all I can find at my local supermarkets are the old brown coconuts.  Its okay though they are still fun, and I enjoyed making this pie. However I had to make a few alterations to my usual recipe to compensate.

Normally with the young coconuts the meat is soft and moist and I usually just use the coconut water & the meat in the pie. However by shredding the coconut meat from the older coconuts it is much drier and I felt that I should add a can of coconut milk instead of using the water to add more flavour and natural fat. So its not as healthy of an option but if you can find fresh young coconuts go for the above mentioned options!! 🙂

And do not worry you do not taste the zucchini, paired with the cashews it helps to keep the creamy texture of the coconut pie!

If you need any tips to open the coconut, try pushing through one of the eyes at the top of the coconut and drain the water. Then pop them into a shallow pan in the oven at 350 for ten minutes until the coconut cracks, remove, cool, and pop out the flesh! Or go for it the old fashioned way by placing it in a pillow case and whack it against the cement! 🙂

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Crust
2 1/4 Cups Dried Shredded Coconut- toast it for a nuttier taste (reserve two tablespoons for garnish)
1/3 Cup Coconut Oil
2 Dates (no pits)

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp vanilla

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Directions

Step 1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and combine well.

Step 2. Scoop crust mixture into a 10″pie plate and push the mixture up the sides of the pan evenly distributed, press mixture down and smooth out the surfaces ensuring no holes in the crust.

Step 3. Chill for 30-60 mins before pouring the filling in.

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Pie Filling

2 Cups Coconut Meat (approx 2 coconuts-shredded)
1 Can Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup Shredded Zucchini (peeled)
1/2 Cup Cashews, Soaked (30 mins)
2 tbsp Vanilla
2.5 tbsp Maple Syrup

Directions

Step 1. Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. It will be very thick and you will have to scrape the sides to continuously keep the mixture moving.

Step 2. Pour into your lined chilled crust.

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Step 3. Chill for at least an hour!

10-12 servings

Raspberry Oat Pancakes- Vegan & Gluten Free

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These oat cakes are our favourite weekend breakfast! They are  a perfect compromise between oatmeal and pancakes.   They have so much flavour and texture and are O’so good for you,  no gluten, dairy, refined sugars, oils, or eggs! Plus you get a dose of protein with your chia seeds, feel free to add extra protein powder if you want more of a protein kick!

They are super easy to whip up the only time consuming aspect is the cook time is about double that of a regular pancake.  Serve with your favourite jam or maple syrup. I prefer mine plain as the fruit is sweet enough!

Ingredients

1 Cup- Oat Flour (Packaged or grind from oat flakes or groats)

1 Teaspoon- Chia Seeds

1 Teaspoon- Baking Powder (gluten free option)

1 Cup- Coconut Milk

1/2 Cup- Fresh Fruit of your Choice

 

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Directions

Step 1- Grind your oats into flour using your food processor or vitamix, or just use packaged oat flour. Add your baking soda & chia seeds.

Step 2– Add your coconut milk and let sit for five minutes for the chia seeds to gel. In the mean time pre heat your griddle to about 325 degrees or medium heat if using a skillet.

Step 3– Add your fruit, mix, and add batter to the griddle. Cook about 5 minutes on each side and press down when you flip to help cook all the way through.

 

Yields- Ten Oat Cakes!

 

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Vegan Squash & Chickpea Curry Stew- Gluten Free

 

vegan chickpea & squash stew

vegan chickpea & squash stew

This is my favourite stew, its hearty and filling with no gluten, dairy, or meat!  Its packed with protein and fibre and you can serve it over rice, quinoa, or as I’ve done buckwheat groats! You’ll notice in the picture of the ingredients I started out with quinoa but when it was all done simmering I had a craving for buckwheat so there it is!  Don’t be intimidated by how long the recipe is, its actually quite easy and you can always buy a pre-mixed spice to make it simpler! Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 Teaspoons of Coconut Oil 1 medium onion- diced 2 celery sticks-diced
2 Carrots- Diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon Indian Spice mix- see below
1 large butternut squash
2 cups -Fresh or canned chopped tomatoes
1 can -chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
2 cups diced spinach
1 cup-Lentils
2 cups of vegetable broth
1/4 cup -cilantro
Buckwheat Groats

Ingredients

Ingredients

In your stock pot sauté your diced onion, garlic, carrot, and celery with two teaspoons of coconut oil. Once it softens after a minute or two add in your spice and your dried lentils and coat them in the mixture. Turn your stove top to medium heat and add in the two cups of broth along with the tomatoes.

Now you can either pre- roast your butter nut squash by cutting it in half vertically and scooping out the seeds and placing it on a baking sheet with about half a cup of water at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. Then you would dice it to add at the very end to keep the vibrant orange colour and this way the squash holds its shape. Or you can remove the skin and seeds and dice it into cubes and cook it directly in the stew. I prefer this method as it cooks in with all the flavours and some of it starts to break down during the processes creating a thicker gravy like stew. These pictures are with the stew in method.

So I’ve gone ahead and added my diced squash to the stock pot and now i let the stew simmer for about 25 minutes until the lentils are tender. At this point to a quick taste test to see if you want more zing, if its great then leave it, otherwise go ahead and add some extra hot sauce or more of your Indian spice powder. Then add in your can of drained chickpeas and diced spinach. Let the mixture simmer for another ten to fifteen minutes for all of the flavours to mesh.

In a separate pan add your buckwheat groats, about one cup per serving, and lightly roast them on medium heat without any oil. This only takes about 2 two 3 minutes, just until they start to turn brown and add enough broth to cover them fully and cook until the moisture has evaporated. It will fluff up like rice when you scoop it!

Buckwheat Groats

Buckwheat Groats

Serve your stew over the buckwheat and garnish with your cilantro!

Note:

Indian Spice Mix
2 tablespoons curry
2 tablespoons cumin
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon