Scrumptious vegetarian sweet and sour “meatballs”

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This recipe is out of this world delicious and sure to be a crowd pleaser for the vegetarians and carnivores alike. It’s not dairy or gluten free but for a hearty-weekend dish, it sure does the trick! My aunt made these for us on Christmas Day as an appetizer and I’ve made them twice since! The recipe is super simple and they come together super quickly!

Recipe is from allrecipes.com


Ingredients

4 eggs
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs

Sweet and Sour Sauce:
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1/4 cup white vinegar (I used apple cider)
3/4 cup apricot jam (I used maple syrup)
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 dash hot pepper sauce (skipped)

Preheat the oven to 350
In a  bowl, mix together the eggs, cheese, and cottage cheese until well blended. Mix in 1/2 cup onion, pecans, basil, salt and sage. Stir in bread crumbs. Form the mixture into 2 inch balls, and place them in a 9×13 inch baking dish.
In another bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, syrup, ketchup, 1/4 cup onion, oregano and hot pepper sauce. Pour over meatballs.
Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until meatballs are firm, and sauce is thick and bubbly.

I served over brown rice


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My picks for a vegetarian Christmas

Ah Christmas, the time of year where we gather and eat, and eat, and eat, and eat. It’s glorious! But, I am not nor have I ever been a turkey fan, and pork is out of the question. As a family we don’t eat meat with the exception of some fish and we have also recently decided to go dairy free (with the exception of a cheesy treat here and there – still looking for a great nut cheese). I know, what a great time of year to have a relatively limiting diet but, I have learned a few awesome recipes that work well for the vegetarians this time of year!

My extended family is all meat eaters so, I typically bring a vegetarian main dish for my family. This year I am going to bring Eating Bird Food’s Lentil Loaf – I will cook them in muffin tins and add a mushroom gravy to suit our tastes! This meal will be paired with whatever salads and vegetables appear at Christmas dinner! Typically I would do a roast vegetable.

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Also, as an appie, I will be making this sweet pea hemp dip by Joyous Health!

For brunch on Christmas morning – we will be doing these  pancakes by Minimalist Baker, much to the dismay of my younger brother. They are so delicious he won’t be able to refuse with some fruit and maybe peanut butter and maple syrup – seriously so delicious! Of course, we can’t forget the mimosas!

Greek-Style Lentil “Tacos”+ Leftover Meal Idea

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Okay, so this recipe is basically an amalgamation of all of my favourite recipes – done tastefully, don’t worry.

This recipe can be turned into a variety of meals including, obviously tacos, but also a lentil bowl, or even a pasta dish. It is so versatile!

I use french lentils or sprouted lentils for this particular dish.

I cook the lentils based on the provided cooking directions and then I add them to a pan to season and sauté with other ingredients.

I personally like to add one onion, one red pepper, cherry tomatoes (vitamin c helps to absorb iron), and some greens (kale, chard, spinach). I cook down until the ingredients are soft but not overcooked.

The sauce is super simple and is my go-to for so many dishes, especially when I am in a pinch!

Sauce (all measurements approximate):

1 tbsp EVOO

1 tbsp nut & seed butter

1 tbsp tamari sauce

1 small garlic glove, grated or minced

1 tsp lemon juice

pinch of salt and pepper

It really is that simple.

To finish the tacos and what gives it the greek flare, in my opinion is the Greek Feta Cheese. While the sauce isn’t really a Greek-style adding the feta in addition to the tomatoes, peppers and onions + the lemon brings out those flavours.

I call it a taco but I really wrap it up like a burrito!

But, I also like to make it into a bowl! Adding a few simple ingredients can really change up the flavours! I like to add steamed broccolini, avocado, squash or sweet potato, and fresh pomegranate seeds to add a nice refreshing punch! I have also topped this dish with coho or sockeye salmon and the dressing paired so nicely!

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Why we eat mostly organic food

IMG_7286 copy.pngSeptember 17 -25 is Organic Week! In my opinion it’s frustrating that we even have to say organic food but, that’s besides the point and reality of the situation today. We choose to eat organic for various reasons. It’s true it is more expensive (most of the time) but there are a few things that help us be able to afford it such as Costco and Superstore offering great options for more reasonably priced organic items. Also, the EWG’s Dirty Dozen guide is a great resource as to which foods are worse off as far as pesticides to allow you to decide which to make a priority to buy organic.

Here are a few of my family’s reasons for why we choose organic.

Taste – I find the comparison between eating an organic fruit or vegetable or even chicken for that matter is not even close. I usually find I enjoy eating organic produce more than non-organic. In my opinion, it’s generally more flavourful.

Health concerns – While I generally live by the motto of everything in moderation, I do believe our body has a body burden and can only handle so much chemical crap being piled into it. This is especially concerning for the health of my children as pesticides can be extra detrimental to the developing brain and body.

Environmental concerns – spraying these chemicals is killing our bees, and without bees, we won’t have any food, plain and simple. Also, it’s just not good for our ecosystem in general.

Voting with your dollar – It’s important to me to contribute how I can. I think one of the most powerful things we can do is to put our money where our mouth is. The more people demand organic and unprocessed food, the more we will receive and at a better price. The change has already started a bit with more grocery stores expanding their organic sections and brining in more organic produce.

To learn more about Organic Week and to find events visit: www.organicweek.ca

 

 

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? 

** This page contains affiliate links. I may be compensation if purchases are made through links from this page. 

Latest foodie obsession: sweet potato toast

At first, I thought this food trend was a little strange but, because I love sweet potato (yam) and I love toast, I thought I should give it a try!

It is super easy to make. Some people will tell you that you can put the sweet potato directly in your toaster but I prefer to bake in the oven with some coconut oil.

I slice some sweet potato or yam about half and inch thick and then brush with coconut oil and put into a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes.

Once the toasts are done to your liking, you can put whatever you want on them! I have showcased some of my favourites below but there are many elaborate recipes! 

Pictured below: goat cheese with cinnamon and honey, avocado with feta cheese, roast zucchini with kale.

These recipes could work great as appetizers for a party, for breakfast, or even a nice healthy snack.

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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!