|| My favourite blogs for plant-based recipes ||

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

Michael Pollan

I am always on the hunt for new and exciting plant-based recipes. I find cooking with plants fun and exciting because there are so many ways you can prepare them and you have a ton of opportunities to get creative!

Here are some of my go-to blogs for plant-based cooking!

To Die For

Managed and edited by Erin Ireland, this blog is EVERYTHING! So many inspiring vegan recipes and creative ideas on how to use plant-based foods in new and exciting ways. Also, if you aren’t already following Erin Ireland on Instagram, do it now!

Minimalist Baker

This blog turned cookbook has endless vegan recipes many of which are super simple to create and require less than 10 ingredients!

Oh She Glows

The one stop shop for everything vegan! So many amazing and simple recipes to get you started and they all turn out amazing! Both cookbooks are also a must have in a plant based kitchen!

I’m having a love affair with crunchy tofu

If you haven’t tried crunchy fried tofu, you are seriously missing out. Perhaps not the healthiest thing out there when all dressed up, as a vegetarian protein option it’s top of my list and it’s sooo easy!

There are countless blogs out there that explain how to get perfect crunchy tofu and different ways to dress it up. Most days, I simply dip mine in some corn starch and fry in a frying pan with some coconut oil until golden adding a little bit of seasoning. I find this great to add to stir-fry’s or wraps. You can also dip the corn starch powdered tofu in some nut milk and then into some panko to take it up a notch. Here are some of my other favorite ways to dress it up:

Hot for Food: Crispy Sweet and Sour Tofu 

Budget Bytes: Pan Fried Sesame Tofu with Broccoli

Omnivores Cookbook: General Tso Tofu

Olives for Dinner: Super- Versatile Crispy Tofu Cutlets

Soy and tofu tend to get a bad rap because it comes highly processed and most of it is genetically modified unless labelled otherwise. There are so many amazing benefits to soy though and the reality is the processed soy is in everything. I personally choose to eat soy in moderation and only select non-gmo and organic tofu. There are many health benefits to eating tofu including it’s protein content for vegans and vegetarians.

This article does a great job of breaking it down.

Seven foods I always have on hand

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We all lead busy lives, it’s just they way of the world! I really envy people who can meal plan and have everything figured out for the week on Sunday night. I am not one of those people, I need a little bit of chaos to function. One thing I do know, that makes my life a little bit easier, especially when I haven’t planned ahead my meals for that day, is keeping a few simple ingredients on-hand to make some go-to dishes. These will obviously differ for everyone but, I thought I would share my favourites!

Sweet Potato/Yams

I always have sweet potatoes or yams on-hand. They are nutritious, cook quickly in various ways and I find them super tasty! You can easily make a stuffed-sweet potato dinner for one, sweet potato toasts, sweet potato pasta, or oven fries. The possibilities are endless and there are a ton of amazing recipes online!

Various Pasta Noodles

I eat a lot of pasta! If I am ever in a pinch, I usually try to adapt something into a pasta sauce of some sort as many combinations work well! And, who doesn’t love pasta!?

Pizza Ingredients

Pizza is seriously my favourite food and, I love how versatile it is. I always try to have flour (whatever type you use), tomatoes, feta or goat cheese, and some sort of green leafy vegetable or herb such as spinach or basil. You can even prep the ingredients a head of time and freeze them! Once you get making pizza down to a science, it is so easy to whip up!

Feta or Goat Cheese

I find I can usually lift up an otherwise bland meal with some feta or goat cheese. They keep well and can be added to many recipes from avocado toast to pasta.

Lentils

These are another really versatile ingredient and can be used in many ways. I typically use them as a side or incorporate them into pastas and stews. Great for iron and protein too!

Avocado

Last but not least, avocados. I find this fruit (yes, fruit) goes so well on a multitude of dishes. Again, I come back to pasta but! You can make it into a dressing, dip, put it on toast, use it in pasta, brighten a salad, make chocolate mousse, the possibilities are endless!

Zucchini

I have been absolutely loving zucchini lately, which is funny because I hated the taste for years!! I have found it to be really versatile. I use it as a zoodle or grate it into salad (raw). I also really like making zucchini chips in the oven. So delicious and crunchy! Even better if you have a dehydrator!

 

What are some of your go-to ingredients?? 

Deliciously healthy lentil bowl and cookbook review

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I am a big fan of getting inspiration from cookbooks and then modifying them to suit your needs and taste. Also, it’s even better when you can make two meals out of one! Recently, I picked up the cookbook THUG Kitchen at Indigo. I was looking for more inspiration when it comes to plant-based meals and was inspired by the lentil taco recipe on page 144 of the cookbook. I ended up making the lentil taco recipe adding my own spin to the slaw as I was unable to find jicama. I was pleased that I had enough filling and ingredients left over to make a yummy deconstructed lentil taco into a yummy veggie bowl!


Save on Music, Books and DVDs at Indigo.ca

 

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The great thing about THUG Kitchen is that nearly every page has pictures and I love the intro to the cookbook and their no nonsense approach to eating real food.

“It’s easier to sauté kale than it is to eat pizza bites without burning the fuck out of your tongue.” — What the fuck is this (preface) to THUG Kitchen.

Yup, my kind of cookbook! All of the recipes are simple and I like that it breaks down the basics of plant-based cooking while serving up a side of realism and hilarity.

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I did a modified version of the jicama slaw by adding some Wildbrine red beet and cabbage sauerkraut. I also served up some oven-baked yam fries on the side. This recipe was simple and tasty. It also left enough of the filling over for a hearty lentil bowl to which I added my modified slaw, the leftover yam fries and the red beet and cabbage sauerkraut for some extra probiotics. I love recipes like this where I can get two healthy and relatively similar but different meals out of one! I am excited to delve further into this THUG Kitchen book and would recommend that you do too for some good recipes and a good laugh!

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Vegan weeknight recipe


IMG_6604Do you ever have those nights where you have a bunch of random ingredients but you aren’t sure what to make so you decide to throw them all together and hope for the best? I have lots of them. Sometimes things work out great and other times, not so much. The other night I was trying to figure out something fast, healthy, and flavourful. I basically grabbed all my veggies and came up with something I found rather delicious.

What’s in the bowl?

Roasted sweet potato and butternut squash – these veggies cook fairly quickly in a hot oven and you really can’t go wrong with these two flavours. I simply peeled and cut up one squash and about three small sweet potatoes, put them on a pan and brushed with some coconut oil. Roasted in the oven at 375 for about 20 min. While they were roasting I prepared my other ingredients.

Lentils – I just used a bag of red lentils and cooked as per the directions on the bag.

Tofu – I pan fried the extra firm tofu in coconut oil. What I find key to getting flavourful tofu is to dry off the tofu before frying it.

Frozen Spinach and Peas – In the same frying pan as the tofu I added frozen spinach and peas.

Cauliflower Rice and Hemp Hearts – I added some leftover cauliflower rice I had and hemp hearts to the tofu and veggie sauté I had going, just to use up some of what was in my fridge.

Add whatever seasonings you like. I usually just do a bit of mineral salt, and pepper.

To layer the bowl, I stared by spreading the lentils in the bowl and then adding the slices of roast sweet potato and butternut squash. Next to the roast veggies I added the tofu sauté. Over top, I poured some tamari sauce. It sounds like quite the random mix of flavours but it was actually super delicious and it just goes to show that sometimes making something random out of what you have in your fridge can turn into something really delicious that you would make again! It was sure a hit at our house!

What’s your favourite random, weeknight meal? 

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Favourite foodie spots in Calgary

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So, I love food, I mean who doesn’t? Really? In recent years, Calgary or, yyc as it is now more readily referred to as, has become quite the culinary hub. There are so many fantastic places to eat and I thought that I would share a few of my favourites.

From top to bottom:

Village Ice Cream, a local ice cream shop with a great story and even better ice cream! It doesn’t get much better than this folks! I dream about their salted caramel flavour, pictured above. All of the flavours are extremely accurate and true and are perfectly presented in this creamy, locally made ice cream. They even have a great selection of sorbets! I highly recommend stopping in here whenever you get the chance!

Wild and Raw is a superfood and juice bar located in the inner city community of Kensginton. They have a jam-packed menu of superfood filled elixirs and smoothies. They also have healthy snacks and meals to go! Check out this article for more information on this awesome Calgary superfood stop! Pictured is the “chaggacino” – my personal favourite!

The Coup, an amazing vegetarian restaurant located in the heart of Calgary serves up healthy, mouth-watering vegetarian meals. Organic, ethical and locally sourced ingredients go into these amazing dishes and I challenge anyone to find a dish they don’t like, even if they are a carnivore. They also offer take-out! I have a few favourites here, including the tempeh shawarma (pictured above) or the bun-me Vietnamese inspired sub, but, everything is amazing!

Sidewalk Citizen Bakery  is absolute perfection. I can say nothing bad about this place, well, except the fact that it’s not in the same area of the city as me so I can’t eat it daily (probably a good thing). When I lived in Sunnyside, I was a regular customer. Every baked good from Sidewalk Citizen is to die for. My favourites have to be their cinnamon rolls and the cheese sticks! I also recently tried the pizza (you can order it!) and omg, I have dreams about how good this pizza was (pictured above). Like, I can’t even describe the goodness of these baked goods without my mouth salivating and my stomach rumbling. My inner glutton comes out when it comes to Sidewalk Citizen, and I think it would be hard for anyone to refrain from buying copious amounts of baked treats from this place!

Last but not least, Analog Coffee is on my list as one of the best coffee shops in Calgary. I could probably drink 10 of their lattes in a row because the coffee is that smooth. Their array of treats is also super tempting. If you are looking for a Starbucks alternative and want high-end specialty coffee, I highly recommend this place!

 

 

 

My new favourite: the veggie bowl

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We are a mostly vegetarian household with the exception of some fish in our diets. It has been difficult for me to make something filling without meat or fish and one that also satisfies all of our taste buds. This dish has hit the jackpot! It is super simple and you can basically use whatever veggies you have on hand at the time.

For this particular veggie bowl, I typically bake a yam or sweet potato in coconut oil for about 20 min in a 400 degree oven, prepare a green veggie (raw or cooked, typically I use broccoli), make carrot or zucchini noodles with my spiralizer for a nice raw crunch, prepare lentils, and rice.

To build the bowl I layer some brown rice in the bottom, surrounded by my veggies and lentils. I finish the bowl off with some avocado and fresh sprouts.

What really makes this veggie bowl come together is the sauce. While there are many sauces that go well with fresh and local organic veggies, my favourite is a peanut-tamari sauce in which i use about 2tbsp of peanut butter, 2tbsp of sesame oil, 1tbsp of tamari, salt and pepper, the juice of one lemon or lime and one minced clove of garlic. That’s it! The sauce is amazing and just the right amount of salty and sweet over the crisp veggies.

I hight recommend this dish as a quick weeknight recipe as it is easily adjusted to the preferences of picky eaters and with the peanut sauce on top, it is sure to please!