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High-Vibe Condiment Classics

May 23 2020 My New Roots 

High-Vibe Condiment Classics Summer is fast-approaching (at last!) and I dont know about you, but to me this means grilling, eating outside, and enjoying all of the classic, warm-weather treats. But wait! Did you know that there are all kinds of funky ingredients hiding in the most innocuous places, like your ketchup, mustard and relish?! We shouldnt have to forgo these truly classic condiments just because were walking on the whole foods path. No way! So I decided to do a high-vibe makeover all of the condiments that youd find at a barbecue, picnic, or baseball game: ketchup, mustard, honey mustard, Dijon, relish, mayo and secret sauce, without any refined ingredients, colours, or preservatives. They are entirely vegan (except for the honey mustard), and taste absolutely incredible.  Making your own condiments from scratch is empowering, and you too will see that by whisking up your very own mustard, or blending your very own ketchup that you are incredibly capable in the kitchen! Its a serious delight to realize that youre not only qualified to make things you thought you needed to buy, but that youre also doing yourself a giant favour in cutting questionable ingredients out of your life. When I was a kid, I loved hotdogs with mustard and relish (not ketchup, that was for burgers). The vinegary tang of the yellow mustard with the sweetness of pickle relish perfectly offset the salty squishiness of a microwaved wiener. This was a typical Saturday lunch, with doughnuts for dessert, all washed down with a giant glass of milk. I wanted to recreate that nostalgia, minus pretty much everything else. The flavours bring me back to simple times and simple food. But simple food is not always so simple. Have you read the ingredients on a squeeze bottle of relish lately? Its a complicated collection of chemicals that I certainly wouldnt want in my body. High-fructose corn syrup, natural flavour, and food colouring are just a few of the ingredients that plague most tasty toppings. Food additives are everywhere, especially in shelf-stable products. If youre not going to refrigerate something or preserve it properly, it has to have things in it to prevent it from spoiling. It also has to look appealing and taste good, even after months (or years!) on a grocery store shelf. That is why it is so important to read labels and be discerning about what you choose to buy. This is not to say that these additives are inherently harmful, but they are far from natural, and Im a believer in eating as close to the earth as possible! Luckily my condiments are not only based on whole foods, but they taste amazing and are actually good for you.    Here is a small list of the food additives to watch out for and avoid, if possible. Remember to check the packages of your other summer favourites, like chips, salad dressings, sparkling beverages, soda and juice, ice cream, popsicles, and frozen yogurt.  High Fructose Corn Syrup Sometimes labeled HFCS, this highly-refined artificial sweetener has become the number one source of calories in North America. It is found in almost all processed foods, since it is cheap to make, shelf-stable, super sweet, and highly addictive. Excessive consumption has been linked to obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Watch out for it in condiments, salad dressing, bread, candy, soda, yogurt, breakfast cereals, even canned vegetables and fruit.  Natural Flavours This is a sneaky term meant to throw you off. When you see these words on an ingredient list, they refer to a naturally-derived flavouring agent that has to be extracted from plant or animal sources, designed to enhance the taste of food. Conversely, artificial flavours are synthetically created, with their original sources being manmade chemicals. Natural flavours however, are still made in laboratories by food chemists who can add any numbers of chemicals, including preservatives, solvents and other substances, which are defined as incidental additives, to what they are creating. Food manufacturers are not required to disclose whether these additives come from natural or synthetic sources, and as long as the original flavouring comes from plant or animal material, they can be classified as natural. The point is, natural flavours dont appear to be any healthier than artificial flavours, and they can still contain ingredients that may cause reactions in sensitive individuals, especially children. To avoid them, cut back on packaged products and stick to the real-deal whole foods!  Food Dyes /­­ Colours To make food look bright, fresh, and especially appealing to children, food manufacturers add dyes to obvious things like candy, sports drinks and baked goods, but also not-so-obvious things like condiments (!), pickles, cereals, salad dressing, yogurt, and chocolate milk. Some of these dyes are approved for use in certain countries, while others have banned them, making it challenging for consumers to navigate. The safety of food dyes is controversial, especially in regards to children. Studies have linked them to hyperactivity in sensitive kids, and they may cause allergic reactions in some people. Because most food dyes are found in unhealthy processed foods, its easy to avoid them if youre sticking to a more natural diet.  Hydrogenated /­­ Partially Hydrogenated Oils You know when the World Health Organization plans on eliminating these fats from the global food supply, they must be pretty problematic. Created by forcing hydrogen gas into vegetable fats under extremely high pressure to turn liquid into solid, hydrogenation creates trans fats, which increases the amount of LDL cholesterol, lowers HDL cholesterol, therefore significantly increasing the risk of coronary heart disease. Whats more is that these fats are pro-inflammatory. Although their use has been banned in several countries, trans fats still lurk in many processed foods.  As long as there is less than .5% per serving, it isnt required in to be listed in the ingredients or nutritional information. The best way to avoid them is by cutting out processed foods, especially margarine, coffee creamer, chips and crackers, frozen pizza, fast foods, baked goods, and microwave popcorn.   Health Claims – these are put on the front of the box to lure you in, and can include buzz words like natural, whole grain, low-fat, no added sugar, organic, light, low calorie, gluten-free, and enriched. Terms like these should be a red flag for you, so read the entire label, including the ingredient list, the serving size, the amount and types of sweetener and fat used. Think critically and be selective – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  The bottom line?! Stick to whole, or minimally-processed foods and ingredients as often as possible. Its better for you, and your family to make your own from scratch whenever possible. Not to mention, its fun to brag to everyone that youre a condiment master, a yogurt wizard, or a salad dressing whisperer.  I had so much FUN with these recipes! It was a blast to brainstorm which condiments I would attempt to health-ify, experiment with, and eventually master to make them all easy-to-make and delicious. My condiments wont last years in the fridge, but all of them passed the two-week mark with flying colours (all of them natural, of course). As long as youre using clean utensils to scoop out your servings, you shouldnt have a problem keeping these toppings around for a few weeks – ya know, if you can ration them for that long!  Yellow Mustard This was in fact my first attempt at making yellow mustard and it proved to be ridiculously easy! I think Id built it up in my head to be some complicated project, but wow was I mistaken. Just a few simple ingredients, and a little stovetop whisking will get you the brightest, tangiest, most beautiful ballpark mustard of your dreams! I must warn you, from one condiment-master to another, that the bubbling mixture gets darn hot and tends to splatter when its cooking. To avoid scalding yourself, use the pot lid as s shield (insert laughing emoji here).      Print recipe     Yellow Mustard Makes 1 1/­­4 cups /­­ 300ml Ingredients:  1 cup /­­ 250ml cold water 3/­­4 cup dry mustard powder 3/­­4 tsp. fine sea salt 1/­­2 tsp. ground turmeric 1/­­2 tsp. garlic powder 1/­­8 tsp. ground paprika 1/­­2 cup /­­ 125ml apple cider vinegar Directions: 1. In a small saucepan, whisk together water, dry mustard, salt, turmeric, garlic, and paprika until smooth. Cook the mixture over medium-low to low heat, stirring often, until it bubbles down to a thick paste, 30 to 45 minutes. 2. Whisk the apple cider vinegar into the mustard mixture and continue to cook until its thickened to the desired consistency – this can take between 5 and 15 minutes depending on how thick you like it.  3. Let the mustard cool to room temperature. Transfer the mustard to an airtight glass jar or container, and refrigerate for up to 3 months.  Honey Mustard Depending on how sweet you like your honey mustard, its just the above yellow mustard recipe with as much honey stirred in as you like! I added two tablespoons and it was perfect for me, but if you want even more, got for it. I recommend avoiding very runny honey, since this will loosen the mustard. Instead, opt for something on the thicker side to maintain the consistency. If youre vegan, brown rice or date syrup would be the best choices, since they are more viscous than maple syrup, for example. I love this on sandwiches with lots of fresh veggies and sprouts!     Print recipe     Honey Mustard Makes 1 1/­­4 cups /­­ 300ml Ingredients: 1 1/­­4 cups /­­ 300ml yellow mustard (recipe above) 2 Tbsp. raw honey Directions: 1. Combine the mustard and the honey. Taste and add more honey if desired. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months.  Grainy Dijon Mustard This style of Dijon is a whole-seed one, which is my favourite because of the great texture and colour variations. Its spicy and complex, and will only get better with time. Keep in mind that this recipe is in two stages, the first one requiring you to soak your mustard seeds the night before you plan on blending.      Print recipe     Grainy Dijon Mustard Makes 1 cup /­­ 250ml  Ingredients: 1/­­4 cup /­­ 40g yellow mustard seeds 1/­­4 cup /­­ 40g black mustard seeds 1/­­2 Tbsp. ground mustard 1/­­3 cup /­­ 75ml white wine vinegar 1/­­3 cup /­­ 75ml apple cider vinegar 2 tsp. maple syrup 1/­­2 tsp. sea salt Directions: 1. Combine all ingredients and refrigerate overnight (for 12-24 hours) to allow the mustard seeds to soften and absorb the flavours. 2. Place mixture in blender and mix on high for a minute or two, until the seeds have broken and the mustard thickens. 3. Transfer contents to a clean jar and enjoy! Dijon will keep for about one month in the refrigerator. Sweet Pickle Relish This was the most anticipated condiment to try and make myself, since its one of my favourites, but also one of the worst offenders for additives. I successfully recreated that gorgeous tang, and succulent texture of commercial relish that I loved so much as a kid. The taste of this one is off the charts! My recipe uses coconut sugar instead of refined sugar and syrups, so the colour is a little darker and browner than the conventional types, but I dont think youll notice – and you certainly wont miss the food colouring!     Print recipe     Sweet Pickle Relish Makes 2 cups /­­ 500ml Ingredients: 2 cups /­­ 340g finely diced cucumber 1/­­2 cup /­­ 85g finely diced yellow onion 1 tsp. salt, divided  1/­­2 cup /­­ 125ml apple cider vinegar  1/­­4 cup /­­ 40g coconut sugar 1/­­4 tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds 1 tsp. dried dill 1/­­4 tsp. turmeric 1/­­4 red bell pepper, finely diced 1 tsp. arrowroot, dissolved in 2 tsp. water Directions: 1. Toss the cucumber and onion with 3/­­4 teaspoon of salt in a sieve set over a bowl, and let drain for about 3 hours. Next, press the ingredients against side of sieve to release as much liquid as possible, then discard liquid from bowl.  2. Bring the vinegar, coconut sugar, and remaining 1/­­4 teaspoon of salt to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then simmer until reduced to about a 1/­­2 cup /­­ 125ml (just eyeball it), about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic, mustard, dill, and turmeric, stir until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. 3. Add the drained cucumber and onion mixture, plus diced red bell pepper, and simmer, stirring for about 2 minutes. Make the arrowroot slurry, then whisk it into the relish. Simmer, stirring, 2-3 minutes until noticeably thickened. Turn off the heat and transfer relish to a glass jar or storage container and leave uncovered until it cools to room temperature, then put in the fridge. The relish will keep for up to a month in the fridge.  Tomato Ketchup This ketchup was an old blog post that I revisited and revised. I used to make this recipe in the oven, but my new method eliminates the need to crank up the heat when its probably the last thing you want to do. Instead, the whole thing is made on the stove, then blitzed up in the blender. Its deeply spiced and complex, so much more interesting than store-bought ketchup. The first time I made the new version, I used a good portion of it for a soup base, then added more to a dip – both were delicious, so if you have leftovers, put it to use in an unexpected place. Its tasty with everything!      Print recipe     Tomato Ketchup Makes 2 cups /­­ 500ml Ingredients: 1 Tbsp. coconut oil (expeller-pressed, flavour neutral)  3 star whole anise (make sure they are whole to remove easily!) 3 bay leaves 1 tsp. ground coriander pinch of chili flakes  1 large onion, chopped  3/­­4 tsp. sea salt  1/­­4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 3 cloves garlic, minced 2.2 lbs. /­­ 1 kg tomatoes  2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar 1 Tbsp. maple syrup  Directions: 1. Melt the coconut oil in a medium stockpot, then add the star anise, bay leaves, coriander, and chili flakes. Cook until fragrant about 2 minutes, then add the onions, salt and pepper, and cook until slightly browned, about 10 mins. Next add the add garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes, then add balsamic vinegar, scraping any stuck bits off the bottom of the pot. Add tomatoes and their juices, then bring to a simmer.  2. Cook on low heat for about 60 mins or until reduced and starting to caramelize on the bottom of the pot.  3. Turn off heat and remove bay and anise, add maple syrup. Let cool slightly and transfer to a blender, blend until smooth. Taste, and adjust seasoning to suit your taste.  4. Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight glass container and store in the fridge. Keeps for about one month.   Aquafaba Mayonnaise This was the most exciting discovery to make: vegan mayo using aquafaba! Aqua faba translates to bean water and its the cooking liquid from chickpeas. Although any can of chickpeas will have this, I make my own, since there are no additives or chemicals that have leached from the can itself. If you cook your own chickpeas from dried, you have aquafaba. Although I wouldnt normally consume large amounts of aquafaba, in this case its used in such a small amount that I think its fine. Plus, did I mention it makes vegan mayo?! The results are so unbelievably shocking and delightful that Im a convert, even though I eat eggs! I highly suggest using the most neutral-tasting olive oil you can find for this recipe. Since it makes up the majority of the flavour of the mayonnaise, a strong-tasting olive oil will overpower the delicate nature of this condiment. I used the one from Pineapple Collaborative, which works perfectly. I also tried avocado oil, grapeseed, and sunflower, but didnt like the results as much as mild olive oil. Its up to you! You can really use whatever you have on hand, just keep in mind that it will really dictate the taste of the final result.      Print recipe     Aquafaba Mayonnaise Makes about 1 cup /­­ 250ml Ingredients: 3 Tbsp. aquafaba 1/­­4 tsp. Dijon mustard 1/­­4 tsp. fine salt 1 1/­­2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar 3/­­4 cup /­­ 175ml mild olive oil (or other light-tasting oil) Directions: 1. Place the aquafaba in the bottom of a wide-mouth jar. Add the mustard, salt, lemon juice, vinegar, and the olive oil. Allow a minute for the oil to separate into a distinct layer. 2. Insert an immersion blender all the way to the bottom of the jar. (Note: this will not work with an upright blender) Start the blending process on medium speed and do not lift the blender until the mixture has thickened and turned white at the bottom of the jar. Only then, slowly move the blender up, waiting for the oil to incorporate as you go, until you get the texture of mayonnaise. Use immediately; refrigerate leftovers in a tightly sealed jar for up to 1 month. The mayonnaise will thicken slightly once cooled in the fridge. Smoky Secret Sauce This is the creamy, tangy, and perfectly seasoned sauce that most famously adorns the Big Mac burger from McDonalds. Whats best about my version is that it has zero secrets...nothing weird to hide here! I had the most fun with this recipe, since it required a number of the condiments that Id already made as ingredients. I did deviate a tad from the original and added smoked paprika, since I love the added dimension of smoke flavour to anything thats going on grilled food, but Ive also found this to be a stellar salad dressing, especially for chop-style salads that have chunky, less delicate ingredients. I hope you find some fun things to slather it on this summer. Its lip-smakingly tasty!      Print recipe     Smoky Secret Sauce Makes 1 cup /­­ 250ml Ingredients: 3/­­4 cup /­­ 175ml aquafaba mayonnaise (recipe above) 1 tablespoon yellow mustard (recipe above) 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish (recipe above) 1 tsp. maple syrup 1/­­2 teaspoon white wine vinegar 1/­­2 teaspoon paprika 1/­­4 tsp. smoked paprika (not traditional, but delicious!) 1/­­4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/­­4 teaspoon onion powder Directions: 1. Fold all ingredients together in a small bowl or jar. Enjoy immediately, and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.    As a bonus, Ive included this stellar recipe for carrot hot dogs – since youll need a high-vibe wiener to put your condiments on! Hahaaa! I realize that carrot hot dogs are pretty 2018, but Id never tried them before and it was a very amusing undertaking. I looked at a number of recipes online and my version is a mash-up of the ones that sounded the most delicious. My method is also much easier and faster than other versions Ive seen, since its just a braise on the stove and a quick grill (no marinating, steaming, roasting, etc).  The important thing to keep in mind for this recipe, is that the amount of time you braise the carrots for,Im  will be dictated by the girth of the carrots. Mine were more sausage-sized (approx 1.5 or 3.5-3.75 cm) than a typical hot dog wiener, and a 20-minute simmer was the perfect amount. If your carrots are smaller, Id go down to 15 minutes. Insert a sharp knife to check on the doneness after 10 minutes or so, and take them out when they are tender, but way before they get mushy. Remember that youre also going to be grilling them for 10 minutes so they will cook even more, and you dont want them too soft. The final result should be tender all the way through, but shouldnt fall apart in your mouth.     Print recipe     Carrot Hot Dogs Serves 8 Ingredients: 8 large hot dog-sized carrots 8 hot dog buns 1/­­4 cup /­­ 60ml tamari 1/­­4 cup /­­ 60ml apple cider vinegar  1 cup /­­ 250ml vegetable broth or 1 tsp. vegetable bullion powder + 1 cup water 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup 2 Tbsp. coconut oil (preferably expeller-pressed, flavour neutral) 1 Tbsp. liquid smoke 2 tsp. yellow mustard 1 tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. paprika 1/­­2 tsp. onion powder 1/­­2 tsp. ground black pepperWash and peel carrots. Round the edges of the carrot to look more like wieners, if desired.  Direcitons: 1. Whisk all marinade ingredients together in a large stockpot with a lid. Add the peeled carrots and bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, and cook with the lid on for about 20 minutes (less if your carrots are on the thin side, see headnote). Remove from heat and turn on the grill.  2. Grill the carrots over medium-high, turning every couple of minutes, basting them with the remaining braising liquid if desired. Cook until slightly charred and fragrant, 10 minutes total. Grill or toast the buns. Place a carrot on each bun and enjoy with all of the condiments! I wish you all an incredible summer ahead! I recognize that this season is going to look very different from years past, but as long as were all healthy and the sun is shining, weve got it pretty good. Stay safe out there, and keep fuelling your body with the whole foods it needs to thrive and feel alive!  All love and happy condiment-making, Sarah B The post High-Vibe Condiment Classics appeared first on My New Roots.

Happy Mothers Day

May 10 2020 Manjula's kitchen 

Happy Mothers DayMy mother and I... Like many of you, during this time at home, I have been trying to get through some organization and general Spring cleaning. It’s really amazing just how much we accumulate through the years. It got me thinking...do we really “need” all these items, or is it just more “stuff”? I wondered if maybe it was time to simplify our lives. I went through closets and closets full of items, opening up suitcase after suitcase filled with a variety of long-forgotten memories. I stumbled upon a suitcase full of old saris and I just couldn’t bear to discard any one of them. It’s because each and every sari has a special story behind it. I am hoping that one of these days I can sit down with my granddaughters and tell them all the stories behind the saris. Who knows maybe they will want to keep some of the saris and wear them? I just hope they do and when they grow up they will remember why the sari was so special to Dadi (grandmother). I know that I still use one of my mothers shawls to this day, despite the fact that it has some tears and is not in the best condition. It doesn’t matter to me because for me, it is somewhat of a security blanket and something to hold onto as a comforting memory of my mother. Of course, going through my belongings comes with memories of my childhood, especially memories of my mother. My mother was one of a kind and just filled with wisdom. Her perspective towards life was very positive. She managed this outlook even though her health was not good. When she was resting, I would sit close to her. She would hold my hand and talk. I could feel her warmth as she softly spoke to me. She was gentle, caring, and giving. Oftentimes, I was left puzzled at some of our conversations because they were deep conversations that were hard for me to understand at my young age. However, now when I think back to those conversations, I understand that she was trying to pass on her values in addition to what things I should let go and give importance to. While she had many health issues, one thing that stood out is that she never complained about feeling unwell. I was the oldest child and often felt I should help her take care of my younger siblings, especially given her health problems. Maybe this was all in my head because, despite her health issues, she was the most positive person and always had a smile on her face. One would never guess she was enduring health issues. My mother was the type of person to always help someone out. She would see someone feeling unwell and immediately bring them home and take care of them. She did this no matter who the person was. I remember feeling confused as to why she bothered helping people she didn’t even know. When I asked her this question, she would simply calmly ask me to bring that person a glass of water. I knew to not question her further. This was simply my mom’s character. She was full of life, always laughing and giggling. She felt it was extremely important to be involved with her childrens lives in every way. My friends loved to hang out with her and felt so comfortable around her. In the back of their minds, I knew they all wanted their moms to be like her. I must have been nine or ten when I decided I would help my mother in cooking and learn the proper way to cook. Her hands had magic. She made simple food but her food always looked and smelled delicious. Even at that time she enjoyed serving food with style and flair. I still remember so many family and friends eagerly await her dinner invitations. When I asked my mother why her food tasted so good, her answer was simple. She smiled and said her first advice was to serve food with a smile. Next, she said always use fresh ingredients and only use spices are to enhance the flavors of the food, and not cover it up. She also emphasized that cooking with love and care were also important ingredients in a dish because they added to the flavors of the dish. Back then, I didn’t understand her answer. How could cooking with love and care be important in a dish? But now I know exactly what she meant. Even today, sometimes when I am tired, I just want to cook something quickly and get out of the kitchen. But then my mother’s words would ring in my ears. She would always say you should never cook if you are tired, irritated, or simply not in the mood. She used to say it would affect the taste of the food. I did not understand what she meant and used to think her food tasted good because she just had great cooking skills and techniques. However, with age and having fed my family for 50 plus years, I realize there was wisdom in my mother’s words. Now when I feed my friends, family, and loved ones, I can see that my mother’s advice was spot on! So, during this time, why not make your family feel loved and cook special dishes for them? I know that I have enjoyed doing so! Stay safe and healthy! The post Happy Mother’s Day appeared first on Manjula's Kitchen.

Recipe | Kale & Sweet Potato Quesadillas

March 27 2020 Oh My Veggies 

There are two things you should know about this recipe: 1. The name is a lie. There’s no queso in these quesadillas. But calling them “dillas” makes them sound like something cutesy off of a children’s menu, doesn’t it? 2. Yes, if it sounds familiar, it’s because I made these with leftovers from my Sweet Potato & Kale Wraps. I decided to save the recipe for a rainy day and its day has finally come! So yeah, about #2. We had tortillas and fillings leftover after making those wraps. But, as you saw, I am no burrito wrapper, so the second night around, I made these Kale & Sweet Potato Quesadillas for dinner. Instead of binding everything together with cheese like in a traditional quesadillas, I used mashed sweet potatoes. Is this weird? Okay, fine, maybe it sounds weird, but sweet potatoes and kale go really well together (this is one of my most popular posts, after all!) and so do sweet potatoes and black beans. Oh, and one note about the chorizo: if you can purchase Field Roast locally, use their Mexican Chipotle sausage. Their sausage is made with real vegetables, grains, and spices and it’s minimally processed. (Yes, […]

Granola Candy Bars

March 12 2020 My New Roots 

Granola Candy Bars When I was a kid, I always wanted to go to other peoples houses for playdates. Not because I didnt like my own home. Because of the snacks. ?? Although my childhood diet included a fair amount of donuts and microwaved hot dogs, my mother had very distinct ideas of what was okay to eat on the regular, and what was not. Honey Nut Cheerios, okay. Lucky Charms, not okay. Granola bars, sure. Granola bars covered in chocolate, nope. My friends pantries were stocked with these things, also known as Kudos, which are somehow legally sanctioned to be labelled granola bars and marketed as a healthy snack, but definitely wouldnt pass my moms test by a long shot. So, I had to get creative to have access to said saccharine granola bar slathered with oozy, sweetened peanut butter, covered in a thick coating of milk chocolate. My teeth hurt just thinking about them now, but holy heck were they transcendent to my seven-year-old self. I would put up with all kinds of games I didnt want to play, cartoons I didnt want to watch, even annoying little sisters, just to have access to the cupboard of Kudos bars after school. My version of this recipe came from a craving, as they often do. Maybe I was longing for a little nostalgia, or a connection to a simpler time when my only goal for the day was ingesting as much sugar as possible without my parents knowing. Good times, haha! Anyway, I have successfully re-created Kudos bars, with massively improved ingredients and adult upgrades. My version is naturally sweetened (duh), uses dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, and I swapped out the peanut butter for hazelnut butter, because it is just way more delicious! I added figs to the granola bars, since they pair so well hazelnuts. And last but not least, I included a healthy amount of salt for balance. Under-salted desserts make me want to light my hair on fire. Altogether, these Granola Candy Bars are serious craving-crushers. Crunchy, crispy, creamy, oozy, sweet and salty, totally rich and mouth-wateringly delicious. Im almost through my second batch and already planning my next one. I feel like a stockpile of these in the fridge would get me through just about anything, even ??the fifth, mind-numbing round of Candyland with my son, who bless his heart, just wants to eat sugar as badly as I did. Candyland is as close as he gets.    Chocolate and Energy ?For those of you following along on Instagram you know that each month in 2020 has a theme, and March is Energy. I thought it would be appropriate to talk about chocolate and how it affects us on an energetic level. A lot of people think that chocolate contains caffeine, and it does have a little bit, but caffeine is not in fact the most stimulating compound that cacao contains. Its something else called theobromine. ?? Theobromine is an alkaloid that gives chocolate its distinctive bitterness. The darker the chocolate, the more bitter, and the more theobromine it contains. Theobromine and caffeine are almost identical at a molecular level, which makes them behave in similar, energizing ways. The difference is that theobromine has one less methyl group (one carbon with three hydrogen attached), which makes it a less powerful stimulant, since it does not cross the blood-brain barrier as easily as caffeine does. Translation: theobromine offers a more relaxed, longer-lasting energy than caffeine, instead of the classic spike-and-crash. Both compounds act on our central nervous system, but only caffeine can make us feel anxious and jittery. Bonus: theobromine is also non-addictive (although I cannot help you if you get addicted to these Granola Candy Bars ?A 1 1/­­2 ounce /­­ 43g serving of dark chocolate (70% cacao solids) will give you about 115mg of theobromine and 20mg of caffeine. By comparison, an 8 ounce /­­ 250ml cup of coffee contains about 95mg of caffeine and no theobromine. The maximum recommended daily intake for caffeine is around 400mg, while theobromine (thankfully) is higher at around 1000mg a day. ??We need to keep in mind however, that most chocolate contains sugar or other sweeteners and additives that are very stimulating. It is no wonder then, that for sensitive individuals, the theobromine in cacao combined with sugar and a little caffeine can give us a serious blast of energy and make chocolate feel like more than a cup of coffee! Be mindful of your chocolate intake during the later hours of the day, especially if you struggle to fall or stay asleep at night. ???  Lets get to the recipe! I use honey to sweeten the granola bars, and to help bind all the ingredients together, but a good, vegan alternative could be date paste. Just make sure it has a high viscosity (like, real sticky). ??This recipe is gluten-free, just make sure you buy gluten-free oats if you are sensitive.?? Hazelnuts may be hard to find and depending on where you are, can be expensive. If youre looking for an alternative, almonds or cashews would be the best! The almonds may need more time in the oven, up to 25 minutes, but keep a good eye on them, as they can burn quickly. ?? Of course you dont have to make your own hazelnut butter for this recipe, but I highly highly recommend that you do. Its really easy and a step that will fit into making the granola bars anyway. Just add 2 extra cups /­­ 270g of hazelnuts to the baking sheets and roast as you would with the other ingredients. Blend hazelnuts in a food processor, scraping down the sides every so often, and eventually, youll have hazelnut butter. It can take up to ten minutes, so be patient. Add a splash of olive oil to get it going, if absolutely necessary. This will make about 1 cup /­­ 250ml, which is exactly what you need for the recipe. Youre welcome! ?????         Print recipe     Fig and Hazelnut Granola Candy Bars Ingredients: ? 1 1/­­2 cups /­­ 150g rolled oats ?1 cup /­­ 135g raw hazelnuts (plus two more cups if making your own hazelnut butter, see headnote) ?2 Tbsp. coconut oil (I recommend flavour-neutral) ? 1/­­3 cup /­­ 80ml thick honey (creamed or white)? 1/­­3 cup /­­ 80ml tahini? 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract ?1/­­3 cup /­­ 60g chopped un-sulfured dried figs? 1 cup /­­ 20g puffed brown rice cereal? 1/­­4 tsp. flaky sea salt, plus more for garnish? 1 cup /­­ 250ml hazelnut butter ? 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup? 1/­­2 tsp. fine sea salt? 200g dark chocolate (80% or higher), have more on-hand for drizzle and just in case! ?????   Directions: ? 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F /­­ 170°C. Place the oats and hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, trying to keep them as separate as possible, and bake stirring once or twice, until the oats are golden and smell toasty, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool, and roughly chop the hazelnuts. ? 2. In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil over low heat. Add the honey, tahini, and vanilla; whisk thoroughly until fully combined. ? 3. Roughly chop the dried figs and set aside.  4. In a large bowl, combine the cooled oats and chopped hazelnuts with the figs, puffed cereal, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir quickly to mix.? 5. Line an 8×8 brownie pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Spoon the mixture in and using slightly damp hands, press it firmly into the pan, especially around the edges and corners. ? 6. Combine the hazelnut butter with the 1/­­2 teaspoon fine salt and maple syrup - it should transform from runny, into a more solid paste. Spread over the top of the granola bars. Set in the freezer to firm up for at least 4 hours. 7. When the bars are ready to coat in chocolate, remove them from the freezer and cut the base into 12 even pieces. 8. Set a double boiler up on the stove, over a low simmer. Chop the chocolate into chunks. Melt in a double-boiler over medium heat. Dip each piece in melted chocolate, then place on a piece of parchment to cool and set. Drizzle remaining chocolate over the top, then sprinkle with a little more flaky salt. Once cool, enjoy! Store bars in the fridge for up to one month, or the freezer for 6 months. I know that this recipe will land with the child inside you, who is just trying to convince her parents that the chocolate-covered granola bars are healthy. Because at least now, well, they actually are. All love and happy treat-making, Sarah B Show me your treats on Instagram: #mnrgranolacandybars   *   *   *   *   *   * Okay, one more thing before I go, just because I’m pretty stoked about it…I have a show! It’s called The Substitute Baker, and it’s going to be on Food Network Canada’s digital platform. The series premiers March 25th on Facebook Watch, so you can see it no matter where in the world you are! I’ll be dropping more details about it on Instagram and Facebook, so please stay tuned there. Thank you to everyone who has sent a supportive comment or email – it means so much to me, and this opportunity was possible because of YOU. So thank you!  The post Granola Candy Bars appeared first on My New Roots.

Sweet and Sour Guava Curry

February 13 2020 Manjula's kitchen 

Sweet and Sour Guava Curry (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Print Amrood Ki khati Methi Sabji (Sweet and Sour Guava Curry) Guavas, or "amrood" in Hindi, are simply delicious and probably one of my favorite fruits! This year I have an abundance of guavas growing in my backyard. I like to sprinkle chaat masala on guavas. The spiciness really brings out its flavor. Since I have so many delicious guavas, I decided it was time for me to make Guava Sweet and Sour Curry (Amrood Ki khati Methi Sabji). In case you are not familiar, this is a popular North Indian dish which I believe tastes best with fresh hot puris or parathas. This was a staple sabji when I was a child growing up in India, provided guavas were in season. My brother especially enjoyed this dish. He simply relished this sabji and could enjoy eating it every day. However, there was catch – he would only eat this dish with puris! Rotis or parathas simply did not do this dish justice! My brother would pretend to read a book while eating so no one would disturb him so he could truly enjoy eating in peace! Whenever I make this recipe, I remember our sweet, innocent childhood memories. Guava Sweet and Sour Curry has the best flavors – spicy, sweet and sour – all in one dish! This recipe will serve 2. Course Main Course Cuisine Indian Keyword Amrood, cooking shows, Gourmet food, Guava Fruit, Home Cooking, Home Made, Indian food, Jain Food, Kadoo Ki Subji, Khatta Meetha, Main Dish, Mandir Food, No Garlic, No lahsun, No Onion, No Pyaj, North Indian Recipes, Recipe videos, Satvik Food, Spicy, Swaminarayan, Tropical Fruit, Vegetarian, Veshno Cooking Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 15 minutes Total Time 20 minutes Servings 2 people Ingredients2 cups guavas amrood, cut into bite size pieces 2 Tbsp oil 1/­­2 tsp cumin seeds jeera 1/­­4 tsp fenugreek seeds mathi dana 1/­­8 tsp asafetida hing 2 tsp coriander powder dhania 1 tsp fennel seed powder saunf 1/­­4 tsp turmeric haldi 1/­­2 tsp red chili powder 1/­­2 tsp salt 1 Tbsp ginger adrak, thinly sliced 1/­­2 tsp mango powder amchor 1 tsp lemon juice 2 Tbsp sugar adjust to the taste 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro hara dhania InstructionsHeat the oil in a saucepan. Oil should be moderately hot. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil. If the cumin seed cracks right away, the oil is ready. Add the cumin seeds, asafetida, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds powder, coriander powder, turmeric, and red chili powder stir for few seconds. Add ginger and guava mix it well add 1 cup of water and cover the pan. Lower the heat and cover the pan cook for about 5-8 minutes until guavas are tender. Add mango powder, lemon juice and sugar stir and add cilantro. Turn off the heat and cover the pan for few minutes. Amrood Ki khati Methi Sabji is ready to serve. NotesIf Guava seeds are hard then remove them, adjust the sugar to taste depends how sweet are guava. The post Sweet and Sour Guava Curry appeared first on Manjula's Kitchen.

Crispy Vegetable Pakoras

January 19 2020 Manjula's kitchen 

Crispy Vegetable Pakoras (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Print Crispy Vegetable Pakoras Crispy Vegetable Pakoras are probably my all-time favorite and satisfying appetizer. They are perfect for any occasion, not to mention they are a favorite with all -young or old! These bite-sized snacks are fried to crispy golden-brown perfection. I serve pakoras with tamarind or cilantro chutney. When cooked right they are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. These pakoras also have the added benefits of being vegan and gluten-free. I have many fond memories of my mother cooking pakoras when I was a child. There was no special occasion that warranted her whipping up a batch of pakoras. Sometimes she would just come up with an excuse - be it the weather (especially if it was cold & rainy!) or if she simply wanted something savory and spicy. Pakoras were also a staple in our household when guests would unexpectedly show up at our house. Vegetable Pakoras are easy and quick to make, not to mention you can use a variety of vegetables to make them. I can tell you from personal experience that these pakoras are extremely addicting! Try pairing these pakoras with your afternoon tea or as a spicy delicious snack! This recipe will serve 4. Course Appetizer, Snack Cuisine Indian Keyword Appetizer, Balushahi, Bhartia Khana, Burfi, Cooking Video, Crispy, Crusty, Delightful, Homemade, Indian Vegetarian, Jain Food, Mandir Food, North Indian Recipes, Onion Garlic Free Cooking, Punjabi Recipes, Snack, Street Food, Veshno Cooking Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 15 minutes Total Time 25 minutes Servings 4 people Ingredients4 okras cut vertically into 4 slices 12 green beans cut into half then cut them vertically 1/­­2 red bell pepper sliced into about quarter inch thick 1/­­3 cup besan Bengal gram flour 2 Tbsp corn starch arrow root 2 Tbsp rice flour 2 tsp coriander powder dhania 1/­­4 tsp mango powder amchoor 1/­­4 tsp red chili powder 1/­­8 tsp baking soda 1/­­2 tsp salt InstructionsFirst prepare the vegetables: okras, wash and pat dry, cut off the tops and bottom. Then cut the okras vertically into four slices. Bell pepper slice into about quarter inch thick, making julienne, and cut the green beans into half then cut them vertically. Next! Prepare pakora mix, mix all the dry ingredients together, besan, corn starch rice flour, and baking soda, mix them well. Rice flour, corn starch and baking soda will add the extra crispness to pakoras. Now add the other spices, coriander powder, mango powder, red chili powder and salt. Mix all the ingredients well. Sprinkle the dry mix over vegetables mix them well add water little at a time as needed to coat the vegetables nicely with besan spice mix, vegetables should be coated well. I added about 1/­­4th cup of water. Heat at least one inch of oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. To test, put one drop of batter in the oil. The batter should come up slowly. Drop the pakoas slowly one at a time. Put few pakoras at a time dont overlap the pakoras. Fry the pakoras until they turn golden brown, turning them occasionally. This should take about 6 minutes. Take them out over paper towel to absorb the extra oil. Fry all the pakoras same way. NotesAlso check out the recipe for Chai Masala Tea. Gulab Jamun, Vegetable Kathi Roll The post Crispy Vegetable Pakoras appeared first on Manjula's Kitchen.

Joy Bauer’s Tips for Getting Kids to Eat More Vegetables

December 9 2019 Meatless Monday 

Joy Bauer’s Tips for Getting Kids to Eat More VegetablesEvery parents predicament: How do I get my children to eat more vegetables? Although theres no secret sauce (sorry ketchup), there are tried and true methods to get your kids to eat more adventurously. But what are they? The team at Meatless Monday spoke with Joy Bauer, bestselling author and health and nutrition expert on The Today Show, about her new book, Yummy Yoga: Playful Poses and Tasty Treats , and her creative ways to encourage kids to eat healthier. Yummy Yoga pairs healthy, kid-friendly recipes with fun yoga positions, giving the whole family the opportunity to get in the kitchen and on the yoga mat. But what sets this book apart is the collection of adorable yoga sculptures made out of fruits and vegetables that accompany each recipe (warning: they definitely encourage playing with your food). To celebrate the launch of her book, Joy shared with us some easy-to-apply tips and tricks that will spark a passion for veggies in even the pickiest of eaters. This Monday, follow Joys words of wisdom and help your kids establish a loving relationship with plant-based foods. Tip # 1: Make Healthy Food Fun The key to encouraging kids to eat healthfully is to make food fun and exciting. Thats the whole point of Yummy Yoga. The pages are filled with tasty, kid-friendly recipes -- smoothies, fruit skewers, veggie pizzas, super food ice pops, etc. -- and playful yoga poses to entertain and excite little ones as they discover healthy, new habits.   Tip #2: Eat More Produce Yourself Kiddie see, kiddie do. If your little ones (and big ones) see you eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, theyre more likely to do it, too. A study from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, found that preschool age kids were more likely to eat bell peppers (and prefer them in the future) after being shown a video of people eating the veggie compared to kids who didnt see the veggie video. Encourage your children to eat more fruit and vegetables by enjoying them yourself, and by pointing out other people (grandparents, siblings, cousins, friends, babysitters, and so on) who enjoy them, too!   Tip #3: Think Out of the Box If a picky spouse or child doesnt like steamed broccoli, dont give up. Instead, try another spin. Whip up a batch of Broccomole Dip (I mash steamed broccoli florets into guacamole), Roasted Broccoli , Creamy Broccoli Soup , Broccoli Tots , or top it with cheese sauce or marinara...you get the idea. Be creative and experiment until you find a recipe that your picky eater does like.   Tip #4: Give Them the Power of Choice Give picky eaters the power to choose--a fun recipe, a new fruit or a veggie to prepare as a side dish, or even the theme of the meal. Its a simple equation that will make mealtimes less fraught: more freedom = less fussing. When you involve picky eaters with planning and prep a few nights each week, youll find theyre less likely to argue about finishing their veggies. Good food, good mood...sounds appetizing, right?   Tip #5: When in Doubt, Hide it Sometimes, its easier to just slip veggies into their favorite foods. You can add a handful of kale or spinach into smoothies; add chopped broccoli, diced carrots or yellow bell peppers into mac and cheese (no brainer!); swap out standard noodles for veggie noodles, like spaghetti squash or zucchini linguini (aka zoodles); mix cauliflower rice with traditional rice; blend canned pumpkin puree into marinara sauce and taco meat -- the options are limitless!   Tip #6: Try it on a Monday Monday follows the weekend, which is when most people do their shopping and prep work-the veggies have been purchased, cleaned, peeled and chopped. Plus, its the perfect way to reset and reboot for a healthy and energizing new week ahead. Try Joy’s recipe for Heart-y Artichokes, Green Beans, and Leeks from the book and check out Yummy Yoga for more delicious recipes!   Want some more plant-based cooking tips for you and your picky eaters? Check out The Kids Cook Monday for more recipe inspiration and fun kitchen activities for you and your children to do together. The post Joy Bauer’s Tips for Getting Kids to Eat More Vegetables appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Unique Holiday Gift Guide for the Gourmets and Food Lovers on Your List

December 2 2019 Meatless Monday 

Unique Holiday Gift Guide for the Gourmets and Food Lovers on Your ListThe holiday season is here, so the team at Meatless Monday has assembled a snazzy gourmet gift-guide that includes everything you need to make plant-based eating -- or any type of eating for that matter -- easier, healthier, and more tantalizing to the taste buds. Whether youve been naughty or nice, weve got something for everybody: A self-sustaining indoor herb garden for your apartment-bound offspring, a molecular gastronomy starter pack for your Chopped-obsessed sister-in-law, and, of course, a hazard-proof mandoline for mom. But no matter the tool, cooking gadget, or condiment, all of the gifts listed below will make someones Meatless Monday a whole lot more delicious. Indoor Smart Herb Garden Tell us if this sounds familiar: Your recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, but the quantities sold in the grocery store would last you a month. Thankfully your thoughtful friend purchased you this easy-to-use, self-sustaining smart herb garden. It works just like a capsule coffee machine: Insert the biodegradable smart-soil capsule, add water to the tank (good for up to 3 week), and plug it in! Bring on the basil. For the Indoor Smart Herb Garden, click here.   Hot Sauce Flavors from Around the World The ideal gift for any hot-sauce junkie, this set of hot sauce flavors from around the world will add some searing flavor to any plant-based meal. Add some BAM! to your seitan and experiment with some spicy sauces from Costa Rica, New Orleans, Argentina, and 27 other states and countries. For the Hot Sauce Flavors from Around the World, click here. Embossed Rolling Pin Theres nothing more comforting than the aroma of freshly baked cookies. Let your baked goods look as good as they smell with one of these ornately embossed rolling pins; theyll transform any sheet of cookie dough or pie crust into an edible art piece. For the Embossed Rolling Pins, click here.  Food Dehydrator A must-have for any individual looking to easily incorporate more plant-based foods into their diet, a food dehydrator can turn any fresh fruit or vegetable into the perfect plant-based snack. Use it to dry herbs or make your own fruit leather or mushroom jerky. For the Food Dehydrator, click here. Hazard-Proof Mandoline Slicer and Spiralizer Its sharp blade and high potential for kitchen mishaps has earned the mandoline a villainous reputation, but its still a very useful kitchen tool that can quickly transform any number of fruits and vegetables into perfectly bake-able, fry-able, salad-able slices. This hazard proof mandoline is foolproof, safe, and comes with its own handy spiralizer, perfect for turning oblong shaped vegetables into flowing strands of carb-free noodles. For the Hazard Proof Mandoline Slicer and Spiralizer, click here. Super-Cute Kids Cookware Introducing children to the magic of cooking is one of the most valuable lessons you can bestow upon them. An appreciation for gastronomy starts in the kitchen, and theres no easier way to get the young ones cooking than with a set of super-cute kids cookware, which features an adorable set of vegetable-themed spoons, measuring cups, and whisks. For the Super-Cute Kids Cookware, click here. Molecular Gastronomy Starter Pack  Bring out your inner Top Chef with this incredibly cool molecular gastronomy starter pack. Use food-friendly additives to create jells, powders, beads, and caviars that will have your guests marveling at your gastronomic chops. For the Molecular Gastronomy Starter Pack, click here.    Fermentation Kit (Jars Not Included) The list of health benefits associated with fermented vegetables (kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles) is lengthy, but these foods can be a little pricey when purchased from the supermarket. A fun and cost-effective way to bring more fermented foods into your diet is to make them yourself. This fermentation kit comes with all the tools you need to pickle, culture, and preserve all of your favorite veggies. For the Fermentation Kit, click here. DIY Mochi Kit Mochi is the dessert that melts in your mouth, not in your hands. Everyone -- and I mean everyone -- has fallen head-over-heels in love with this Japanese frozen dessert. This DIY mochi kit is perfect for plant-based food lovers because it allows you to swap in any one of your favorite non-dairy ice creams. For the DIY Mochi Kit, click here.   Foodie Baby Gear We know that your baby niece, cousin, or newborn couldnt be any cuter, but what if they were wearing a little dim-sum or tater-tot onesie? This collection of adorable baby gear comes complete with all the food puns that any food-loving parent could ever dream of. For the Foodie Baby Gear, click here. Tofu Press Water is the element that prevents your perfect cubes of tofu from absorbing flavor and crisping up in the sauté pan. So just say no to soggy tofu! Exorcise those dampening demons in 15 minutes with this EZ Tofu Press: Simply set the press on a dish to catch water, place tofu on press base, turn both knobs for resistance, and continue to tighten the knobs every few minutes until your desired texture is achieved. For the Tofu Press, click here.   Meatless Monday Family Cookbook The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook, by Jenn Sebestyen, emphasizes the limitless potential of plant-based cooking. The recipes are nutritious, easy-to-prepare, and mimic the look, taste, and texture of comfort-food favorites (youve got to check out the lentil Bolognese, butternut-squash mac and cheese, and meaty mushroom stew). Its an awesome gift for anyone looking to expand their repertoire of plant-based recipes. For the Meatless Monday Family Cookbook, click here.   For more Meatless Monday inspiration, tips, and recipes, click here The post Unique Holiday Gift Guide for the Gourmets and Food Lovers on Your List appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Does Your Back-to-School List Include Meatless Monday?

August 26 2019 Meatless Monday 

Does Your Back-to-School List Include Meatless Monday?Its back to school time. For many students that means back to Meatless Monday time, because more and more schools are observing Meatless Monday. Students and schools around the country want to take action to fight climate change and address health issues. Meatless Monday is a simple and effective way for students, parents and administrators to develop long-term healthy eating habits that also address the environmental issues associated with meat consumption. Its What Students Want One of the largest foodservice companies in the country, Whitsons Culinary Group, launched a Meatless Monday initiative after being prompted by student surveys requesting more vegetarian and vegan menu options. They now offer meatless, plant-based options in all 95 school districts they service in the Northeast. New York City serves over 1.1 million Meatless Monday meals every week to students in all five boroughs. The program was initiated by student demand and proved by a successful pilot program in Brooklyn that quickly expanded to include all schools.   Bring Meatless Monday To Your School If your childs school doesnt take part in Meatless Monday, you can help them get started with free and easy to use resources from Meatless Monday. Check out our K-12 resource page for everything you need to begin the conversation with administrators and kick-off a successful Meatless Monday school program. Additional Meatless Monday K-12 Resources: o Research on the health and environmental benefits of choosing plant-based foods instead of meat o Implementation guides for starting Meatless Monday in school cafeterias o Marketing materials that can be used to promote Meatless Monday onsite or through social media o Downloadable K-12 cookbooks o Sign up for weekly newsletters with Meatless Monday recipes and news o Sign-up to become a Meatless Monday Ambassador for more K-12 tips and resources Do you lead a school or manage a school district? Schools looking to implement Meatless Monday programs can consult with our team, which includes experts from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future . Contact us  for additional information or to learn how to implement a program at your school. Already have a great Meatless Monday program going at your school? Keep us posted on all of your great work! Email us at: info@meatlessmonday.com Meatless Monday is a global movement, followed by millions, with a simple message: one day a week, cut out meat for personal health and the health of the planet. To find out more, follow us on Facebook , Twitter , Pinterest , or Instagram . The post Does Your Back-to-School List Include Meatless Monday? appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Strawberry Rhubarb Hemp Breakfast Bites

August 15 2019 My New Roots 

Strawberry Rhubarb Hemp Breakfast Bites This post is a long time coming! And Im so excited to finally be sharing my bedroom with you all. Weve now been in our home for a year and a bit, and although its (still!) not complete, were enjoying working on the finishing details here and there. Honestly, I dont think we will ever be done, and that is okay. This entire experience has made me way more patient, realistic, and Ive learned to set my expectations super low on every project so that instead of being disappointed, Im often positively surprised! We moved with just boxes, zero furniture, and essentially had to start over in that department. That meant a new bed, a new mattress and all new linens, since we decided to make the jump from a queen size mattress to a king (literally one of the best life decisions, ever). My husband and I are both DIY-ers, and serious thrift store shoppers, and we knew that we wanted to build a bed ourselves, then find the rest of bedroom furniture second-hand. The one place where we knew we wanted to really take our time considering was a mattress and the bedding. If you read this blog, you probably care about your health to some degree. Like me, you may prioritize buying organic produce, splurge on environmentally-conscious clothing, and look to sustainable skincare and beauty products. But have you ever thought about your bedroom environment? We spend a third of our life in bed (at least we should), so its just as important to consider the things that we interact with in our homes, not just what goes in and on our bodies. In fact, the greatest exposure to chemicals you can have in a day, could be while youre sleeping. When I started looking into buying a mattress, I found the options were totally overwhelming. And with so many retailers moving to online platforms and selling directly to consumers, prices have been slashed considerably, and the deals are tempting. Mattresses are one of those things that seem pretty innocuous, and maybe even a place to save a few bucks. But dig a little deeper and youll see that the thing you spend so much time on, is not the thing you should spending less money on, as youll be paying for cheaper materials with your health. Modern, conventional mattresses are made with a laundry list of harmful substances that can be affecting you and your family. One of the most offensive ingredients found in conventional mattresses is memory foam made from polyurethane; a highly flammable, petroleum-based material. Polyurethane foam emits Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, and can also damage the liver, kidneys and central nervous system, according to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. Un-ironically referred to as solid gasoline, polyurethane foam is typically wrapped in or treated with fire retardant chemicals to meet the Federal and State flammability standards in the US, otherwise it would be totally unsafe. Which brings me to the second thing to watch out for in mattresses, and that is chemical fire-retardants (CFRs). These are compounds added to the materials in a mattress to protect you, and they are an inexpensive way to meet safety standards. The issue is that CFRs do not fully bind to materials, and are released into the air through the mattress, then build up in the body causing some people lifelong health issues.   Formaldehyde, antimony, boric acid, and halogenated flame retardants are some of the most damaging CFRs found in modern mattresses, and the frustrating thing is that companies are not required to disclose which ones they are using. Unless a mattress company is explicitly eliminating these chemicals from their production and using a natural material alternative, they are likely using one of the harmful chemicals listed above. I looked at a number of organic /­­ natural mattress companies in my research, and the one that stood out to me was Naturepedic. They are made with certified organic cotton, wool, and latex. For heavy-duty support without any health or allergy concerns, Naturepedic only uses the highest quality innersprings available made from recycled steel.. , and steel, with Naturepedic ensured  the purity of every material used, along with fair labour practices. I reached out to Naturepedic, to see if they would be open to me trying a mattress out and blogging about it. They agreed, and sent me their EOS  (Ergonomic Organic Sleep) mattress that allows for fully customized layers for finding the exact right amount of firmness (you can even choose different support styles from your sleep partner, or swap out the layers down the line in case your preferences change). Id never heard of anything like that before, and though it was so brilliant! I went to the showroom in Toronto to try out the mattress in person, which was very helpful, but you can also just order online if you know what kind of consistency you like. The mattress components were delivered to my door, and it was easy to assemble, as everything gets zipped into a giant, certified organic cotton casing. After spending the last twelve months on this bed, I can confirm that its been the best year of sleep in my entire life (even post-child, haha!). Besides the fact that I love going to bed knowing that I am breathing completely clean air, and that the materials that went into the mattress were made with a deep commitment to protecting the environment, its simply the most supportive and comfortable mattress Ive ever tried. Period. I cannot recommend this mattress enough! The other thing to consider when outfitting your bedroom is the bedding itself. Because we come into direct, skin-to-product contact with these textiles, its essential to choose something non-toxic. Most bedding on the market is made with cotton, one of the most chemical-laden crops grown. According to Pesticide Action Network North America, Conventionally grown cotton uses more insecticides than any other single crop and epitomizes the worst effects of chemically dependent agriculture. Each year cotton producers around the world use nearly $2.6 billion worth of pesticides -- more than 10 per cent of the worlds pesticides and nearly 25 per cent of the worlds insecticides. If youre going to sleep in cotton, choose organic whenever you can. Linen is a great alternative material because it is a much lower impact material on the environment, and requires very little intervention to be grown. Coyuchi is a brand recommended to me by my dear friend Elenore, who has the highest standards I know of Coyuchis textile line is not only 100% organic, but also consciously processed, meaning that they use low-impact dyes for colour that is kind to the planet and our sensitive skin. Coyuchi offered to send me some bedding to try out and I was instantly obsessed. Their textiles are beyond delicious, super soft, and incredibly comfortable. For a duvet cover, I chose the Crystal Cove pattern in white. I loved this choice since its reversible - a textured weave that looks cozy in the winter, and a crinkled cotton underside, which I like to face up in the summer. I also love their Topanga Matelasse blanket, shown here in warm stripe, which is also reversible (super convenient if you want to change up the look of your bedding with a quick flip!). For winter, their Cloud Brushed flannel sheets are super luxurious, and especially enjoyable its very hard to find organic flannel! Words cannot describe the feeling of slipping into these on a chilly night. The giant back pillows in the bed are also from Coyuchi, and are perfect if you have an open-frame bed without a headboard. I like to sit up and read in bed, and these pillows are firm enough to act as a headboard itself. When youre shopping for any kind of textile (bedding, furniture, or clothing), the most important mark to look for is the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification. GOTS is recognized as the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers. It defines high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well. Unlike most textile and mattress companies, both Coyuchi and Naturepedic are GOTS certified and adhere to their strict standards for agriculture and labour. Okay, lets get to the recipe! I experimented with these breakfast bites for a long time. At first, I was blending up cashews to make flour, but that got expensive, and ultimately I wanted the recipe to be allergen-free (so the nuts had to go!). As an alternative, I opted for hemp seeds, which worked beautifully. Its easy to make your own hemp flour in a food processor in a few seconds. Ive been using it baked goods lately and love how moist and tender the results are! I used strawberries and rhubarb for these nuggets of joy, but since were moving into stone fruit season, Ill soon be switching it up and using peaches, plums, pluots, apricots, and cherries in their place. Any fruit will work as long as its not super moist (like melons). Raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries would be lovely here too. Simply use 1 cup of chopped fresh fruit in any combination that tickles your fancy. To change up the flavour even more, add orange zest, warm spices like cinnamon and cardamom, or even some cacao powder for a chocolate version. Yum! I really wanted to make a successful vegan version of these, so I tried using banana in place of the egg. The results were decent, but a little too moist. If I made these again, I would use the banana plus a tablespoon of ground flax seeds. If any of you do that, please let me know in the comments!     Print recipe     Strawberry Rhubarb Hemp Breakfast Bites Makes 12 Ingredients: 1 1/­­2 cups /­­ 215g hemp seeds 1/­­4 cup /­­ 35g arrowroot 1/­­4 tsp. flaky salt, plus more for garnish, if desired 1 tsp. baking powder 1 egg (or 1 ripe banana, mashed) 1/­­4 cup /­­ 60ml pure maple syrup 2 tsp. vanilla extract (or 1/­­2 tsp. vanilla powder) 1/­­2 cup /­­ 85g chopped strawberries 1/­­2 cup /­­ 60g chopped rhubarb (2-3 slim stalks) expeller-pressed coconut oil for greasing (or use muffin liners Directions: 1. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin with coconut oil. Preheat oven to 350°F /­­ 175°C. 2. Wash the strawberries and rhubarb well. Slice the rhubarb into small discs, and cut the strawberries into small chunks. Reserve 3 strawberries for topping the breakfast bites, if desired (remove greens, then slice them top to bottom). Set fruit aside.  3. In a food processor, blend hemp seeds until theyre a fine powder (dont go too far or youll end up with hemp seed butter!). Add the arrowroot, salt and baking powder and pulse a few times to combine. 4. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg or banana, maple syrup, and vanilla extract together. Add the hemp seed flour blend, and stir to combine. Fold in the rhubarb and strawberries. 5.  Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the batter into each prepared muffin tin. If desired, place a slice of strawberry on top of each bite. Set in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden. 6. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. 7. Enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for five days. Aside from getting the chemicals out of your space, here are five other ways to improve the health of your bedroom, and your sleep! Add plants - having a couple of living things in your sleeping space keeps the air clean and fresh. Snake plants, areca palms, aloe vera and orchids are especially helpful, since they absorb CO2 at night, even when they are not photosynthesizing.  Consider airflow - keeping a window cracked at night is a good way to get some fresh air while you sleep. If its noisy outside, keep your window open during the day to ensure full air exchange, and close it right before bed. It’s very important to keep the air in your space fresh and moving. Salt rock lamps - these are said to purify the air by omitting negative ions. I cannot confirm this in any way, but I can confirm that the light they give off is incredibly soothing and helps me wind down at the end of the day. Overhead lighting is very stimulating (and let’s be honest, not overly sexy). Keep the devices out - dont work in bed, and avoid using your phone before snoozing. Blue light from screens inhibits our bodys ability to make melatonin, our sleep-wake hormone. If you choose to keep your phone in your room overnight, set it to airplane mode while you sleep so youre not exposing yourself to radiation from EMFs (Electromagnetic Field).  Beeswax candles - yes, its cozy to burn candles before bed, but paraffin candles pollute the air, full stop. Soy is a better alternative, but beeswax is my favourite since it actually helps purify the air by omitting negative ions, and removing dust and dander. Show me your Hemp Breakfast Bites on Instagram: #mnrbreakfastbites Special thanks to my dear friend Sara for taking these photos of me (and putting up with my awkwardness for at least two hours!). http:/­­/­­matandsara.com/­­ The post Strawberry Rhubarb Hemp Breakfast Bites appeared first on My New Roots.

Cauliflowers Patties

June 26 2019 Oh My Veggies 

These cauliflowers patties are as pretty as they are good, and easy to make! Your children will feast and love to eat their vegetables! You can make patties of different sizes to serve them as an appetizer or as an main course.    

Restaurant Higlight: Solo Bio Organico, Buenos Aires

May 28 2019 Happy Cow veggie blog 

Solo Bio Organico is not only the first organic vegetarian restaurant in Argentina, but also the whole of Latin America! Claudia Carrara is the pioneer that took the leap of opening her own vegetarian restaurant in Argentina’s charming capital of Buenos Aires. Everything started from the desire to bring her children up with the best possible nutrition. Soon enough, she began to sell natural dishes to her neighbours that she would create from the leftover vegetables she had in her kitchen. The success of her improvised cuisine led a friend to offer her a few tables where her clients could sit and enjoy healthy meals. One thing led to another and the idea of opening a restaurant was born. Originally, the main focuses of Claudias research were health, taste, and environmental sustainability. First with the humble intention to feed her kids in a conscious way, and after in the way she would develop her restaurant to have the best possible impact on her society. The name of her cuisine speaks for itself. At Solo Bio Organico, they only work with fresh, local and organic products and this is guaranteed since they were granted the Organic Certification by Food Safety. The […] The post Restaurant Higlight: Solo Bio Organico, Buenos Aires appeared first on The Veggie Blog.

10 Plant-Based Cookbooks to Inspire Your Next Meatless Monday

May 13 2019 Meatless Monday 

10 Plant-Based Cookbooks to Inspire Your Next Meatless MondayWant to add new tastes and techniques to your Meatless Monday repertoire? Weve compiled some of our favorite, meatless cookbooks to offer a little inspiration. In the list, youll find endless ways to liven up your meals: Whether youre an Instant Pot fanatic or want to finally put your extensive spice collection to use, youre bound to find something that sparks joy below.   The Complete Vegan Cookbook: Over 150 Whole-Foods, Plant-Based Recipes and Techniques The Natural Gourmet Center compiled pages upon pages of satiating recipes that can help you up your plant-based cooking game using whole foods and local ingredients. The book is teeming with techniques that explain how to transform animal-free foods into divine dinners like a pro, along with seasonal-driven recipes thatll have even the most skeptical diner forget about the meat. Find it on Amazon .     Mostly Plants: 101 Delicious Flexitarian Recipes from the Pollan Family The Pollan Family -- Tracy, Dana, Lori, and Corky -- have been producing inspiring recipes for years that follow Michael Pollan’s famous food advice -- Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. In Mostly Plants, their new, flexitarian-focused cookbook, the Pollan Family shows how vegetables can shine when theyre at the center of the meal rather than a side. Most of the recipes in these pages can be cooked up in 35 minutes or less, and many can be easily modified for any dietary need. Find it on Amazon .     Veg: Easy and Delicious Meals for Everyone Chef Jamie Olivers newest cookbook, which will be released on August 22, 2019, celebrates tasty and simple food that, as Oliver puts it, just happens to be meatless. Beyond its very viable recipes, the book shares cooking hacks and tricks thatll help any level chef become more comfortable in the kitchen. Find in on Amazon .       Dinner for Everyone: 100 Iconic Dishes Made 3 Ways -- Easy, Vegan, or Perfect for Company Mark Bittman shares 100 straightforward recipes in his new cookbook that can feed a group filled with all types of dietary needs. Every recipe can be modified to appease the palate of any guest, making this cookbook an essential manual for anyone tasked with the challenge of feeding a vegan and a carnivore at the same time. Find it on Amazon .     Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook: 500 Simple Plant-Based Recipes to Feel Better. Ultimate Pressure Cooker Vegan Cookbook for Beginners and Pros Healthful eating doesnt have to be hard or time-consuming. The Instant Pot has gained a cult following for its quick, dump-and-bake technique. Mary Goodrich proves through her recipes that plant-based food works just as nicely with the convenient cooking gadget. Whether youve been obsessed with your Instant Pot forever or you want to see what all the buzz is about, this extensive recipe book will serve you well. Find it on Amazon .       Food Is the Solution: What to Eat to Save the World--80+ Recipes for a Greener Planet and a Healthier You The easiest thing a person can do to combat climate change is to eat less meat. Matthew Prescott, the senior food policy director of the Humane Society, incorporated this philosophy into his first cookbook, which is equal parts educational and drool-inducing. Let this book guide you in changing the way you feed yourself and the way you think about food. Find it on Amazon .     The Indian Vegetarian Cookbook Indian food is a staple for many plant-based eaters because there are so many flavorful, meatless recipes integral to Indian cooking. Pushpesh Pant makes Indian cooking accessible to western readers while maintaining the integrity of whats so good about Indian food in the first place. Vegetables are anything but boring, but if you needed convincing, this book should do it. Find it on Amazon .       OMD: The Simple, Plant-Based Program to Save Your Health, Save Your Waistline, and Save the Planet Suzy Amis Cameron is a mom of five, so she understands how important it is for meals to be effortless and kid-friendly. The author is the founder of the MUSE School in California, where Meatless Monday is implemented. This book will help any parent make meatless meals that their children will love, and also offers great wisdom around why eating meatless is so crucial in the first place. Find it on Amazon .       Heirloom Kitchen: Heritage Recipes and Family Stories from the Tables of Immigrant Women Without immigrants, thered be nothing good to eat. Anna Francese Gass, who migrated to the U.S. from Italy as a young girl, recognizes the importance of immigrant women cooks through her own experience growing up in the U.S. Her new cookbook serves as a record of history; in it she collects and preserves her Italian mothers recipes so that they can be enjoyed by generations to come. And they are simply timeless. Find it on Amazon .       Masala Mamas: Recipes and Stories from Indian Women Changing Their Communities Through Food and Love This incredible story is peppered with recipes from the Masala Mamas -- 16 women who live in the Kalwa slum in India whove dedicated their lives to cooking up hot and nutritious meals for school children who often cant afford much to eat. All proceeds from this cookbook support the Masala Mamas in their mission. Find it on Amazon .     Have a favorite cookbook that deserves to be on the list? Let us know about it on our Facebook page . And for even more recipe inspiration, check out our recipe gallery . The post 10 Plant-Based Cookbooks to Inspire Your Next Meatless Monday appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Legendary Layer Bean Dip - Vegan, Grain-free

April 26 2019 My New Roots 

Legendary Layer Bean Dip - Vegan, Grain-free     Dips are my favourite food group. Yes, food group. If I ever got a tattoo, it would probably say something like: pass the hummus. I was recently hosting a party-for-no-reason, and like most of my get togethers they involve a lot of food. But I didnt feel like making a fallback dip, like tzatziki, or baba ganoush. No. I felt like leveling up and creating something I hadnt tried to before. Something with BIG DIP ENERGY – a chunky, spicy, creamy, and above all impressive layer dip. Id cooked pinto beans the night before, had a little tin of chipotle chilies kicking around the pantry, and I knew that if I cut a couple corners, this thing would come together so Id still have time to tizz myself up before the guests arrived. My childhood memories of layer dip involve many cans and jars of processed food being dumped into a large bowl, but the current-reality-holistic-nutritionist version definitely involves making every single one of those things from scratch. Mama dont have time for that! So I simplified things by cutting out the guacamole (dont yell at me like that - add it if you want to!), and using jarred salsa. Everything else was homemade, but came together quickly and easily.       First, I sautéed the pre-cooked pinto beans with onions, garlic, spices, and the chipotle peppers. While that was on the stove, I whipped up the hemp seed queso (no soaking required!). And the salsa got an upgrade with some fresh, chopped cherry tomatoes. This is such an easy hack btw, since it makes the salsa taste more alive and juicy, while giving it a lot more texture, which I personally dig. All it takes after that is mushing the beans up a bit in the pan, which you can do with a bean masher, or an immersion blender, if you dont want to haul out yet another large piece of equipment. Then layer away! All in all, this took me about 20 minutes, start to finish, and the party people hung around this bowl like it was the last dip on planet earth. The delicious, creamy cheese sauce is a riff off my cashew queso, but in the interest of keeping this allergen-free, I used hemp seeds instead. I love this change-up, since its less expensive, and contains way more omega-3 fats and protein. You can dial up the heat here if you like, but because both the salsa and the bean layer have quite a kick to them, I kept the queso pretty mild. Did I mention that this is delicious on its own next to a platter of veggie sticks?! Or chips. Lets be honest.          Pinto Bean Dreams Just look at those beautiful beans! Dont they look gorgeous in all of their tone-on-tone mottled-ness? Pinto actually means painted in Spanish, and when you take a close look at pinto beans you can clearly see how theyve earned their moniker. Their speckles fade when cooking, and turn a lovely pale pink colour. They also gain a super creamy interior that is perfect in soups and stews, but also dips. Pintos, like all beans, are a mixture of protein and complex carbohydrates, making them incredibly filling, but wont spike blood sugar levels. Pinto beans are low in calories and fat, but contain the highest amount of fiber out of all the legumes (wow!). Key nutrients in pinto beans include potassium to maintain normal blood pressure, calcium for supporting muscle and nerve function, iron to enhance oxygen transport, and zinc for skin health.  Like all beans, pintos can cause an increase in intestinal gas (burps! farts! abdominal discomfort!), due to the oligosaccharides in the beans fermenting in the lower intestine. Because these starchy molecules live in the skin of the beans, a simple soak in water overnight usually does the trick. The soaking process will help leach out many of these fermenting properties, which is why it is so important to discard the soaking water and then boil them in fresh water. Adding a strip of kombu seaweed to the pot will further help to reduce the gas-producing potential of pinto beans (and all legumes), acting like a sponge to absorb those raffinose sugar toot culprits. Try these two tricks to reduce your toilet tunes, and stay social!          I used a clear glass bowl to serve the dip in so that they layers are visible, and it was not until after pouring in two layers did I have the idea to put cilantro stems up on the sides of it. Doh! But knowing it would be #worthit, I painstakingly scooped out the beans and salsa trying to keep everything separate, cleaned the bowl, and started over. I lightly brushed the tiniest amount of olive oil on the leaves to act as glue, then pressed them to the walls of bowl. This is completely unnecessary, but it makes the dip look less monotone and more enticing in my opinion – green always does it! This step takes an extra two minutes and adds a decorative touch, but its your call. Maybe you need those two minutes to tizz yourself up?  If you want to change up the recipe, try using black beans or kidney beans in place of the pintos. If you want to add another layer to this already boss situation, go on and add the guac! I was just trying to keep things a little easier for yall.  And if youd like to make your own salsa, I have a stellar raw recipe right here. Lastly, I want to add that my bowl for this was roughly 1 1/­­2 quarts /­­ litres capacity, and everything it fit perfectly. I would only suggest sizing up if you don’t have this exact container size.         Print recipe     Legendary Layer Bean Dip Serves 8-10 Ingredients: 1 Tbsp. coconut oil (or ghee) 1 medium yellow onion, diced 1/­­2 tsp. fine sea salt 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano (substitute with regular oregano) 1/­­2 tsp. ground sweet paprika 3 cups /­­ 500g cooked pinto beans (about 2 cans) 1/­­2 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (use more or less to suit your taste) water as needed 1 small bunch cilantro, washed and dried 1 pint /­­ 280g cherry tomatoes, divided 1 green onion, sliced (white and green part) 1 small jar (15.5 oz. /­­ 415ml) store bought salsa, mild medium or hot, depending on your tastes 1 cup /­­ 145g hulled hemp seeds 1 medium red bell pepper, seeds removed and roughly chopped 1/­­2 tsp. fine sea salt 3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast 2-3 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste 1/­­2 clove garlic 1 small piece fresh turmeric, chopped (substitute with 1/­­2 tsp. dried) ground cayenne, to taste 3 Tbsp. water, if needed Directions: 1. Melt oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, salt, and stir to combine. Cook until lightly caramelized (about 10 minutes), then add the garlic and cook for a couple minutes until fragrant. Stir in cumin, oregano and paprika, cook for 2 minutes, then add the beans and chipotles in adobo (use as much or as little as you like). Cover and cook on low heat while you make the queso. If the pot becomes dry, add a little water and stir. 2. To make the queso, put all ingredients, except water, in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. If needed, add water one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. If you want a thick cream, use less water, for a thinner sauce, use more. (You will not achieve a perfectly smooth sauce with a food processor, but it is still delicious!). 3. Slice the cherry tomatoes into quarters. Add half of them to the salsa and stir to combine. Save the other half for later. 4. Smash the beans with a bean masher, potato masher, immersion blender, or put them into your high-speed blender (remove the queso first, but dont worry about cleaning it). The goal is to get the beans creamy, but not perfectly smooth. Add water if necessary, and season to taste.  5. Pick out a few stems of the most attractive cilantro, brush them with a little olive oil and stick them to the inside wall of the bowl (this step is optional). Chop the remaining cilantro and set aside. 6. Combine the remaining cherry tomatoes and combine them with the sliced spring onion. Sprinkle with a little salt, and fold to combine.  7. To assemble the dip, Spread the bean layer in the bottom first, followed by the salsa and finally the hemp queso. Top with the chopped cilantro, and finally the fresh tomato mix. Serve with whatever you like to dip! Party on!      Hope you’re all doing well out there. If you are experiencing any semblance of Spring weather where you are, please send some my way. K thanks. Happy dipping! xo, Sarah B The post Legendary Layer Bean Dip – Vegan, Grain-free appeared first on My New Roots.

Holi, Holi, Holi!

March 3 2020 Manjula's kitchen 

Holi, Holi, Holi!The flowers are blooming, and spring is upon us! That means that one of my favorite holidays is fast approaching…yes Holi!  I love the spirit of Holi with its fun, festive and colorful spirit. I especially enjoy playing with my grandchildren during this time.  It keeps me young even though time is passing by quickly. Spending time with my grandchildren during this festive time really brings back a lot of fun memories from my childhood.  My parents loved celebrating holidays and making it very special for us.  It always makes me feel happy thinking of those times.  Of course, these wonderful holidays allow me to spend more time in my favorite place at home – the kitchen!  These holidays and celebrations are not complete without delicious food. As a young child, I can vividly remember the whole neighborhood filled with delicious aromas in preparation for Holi.  My mother would make a variety of finger foods because it was easy to share with friends and neighbors. This year Holi falls on March 9th and 10th.   In India, Holi is a time where people of all different backgrounds come together and celebrate.  A bonfire is typically prepared the night before Holi. The next day family, friends, and neighbors play together with specially prepared colored powders. These powders are called “gulal” and colored water is playfully splashed on each other as well.   Of course, this is my grandchildrens’ favorite holiday to celebrate! In preparation for Holi, here are some of my favorite snacks to prepare:  Gujhias Crispy Shakarpara Nariyal Ka Ladoo Nimki Nimki (Salted Fried Crackers) Khasta Kachori Khasta Kachori Kesar Peda Kesar Peda Here’s to wishing everyone a wonderful Holi this year! The post Holi, Holi, Holi! appeared first on Manjula's Kitchen.

Mushroom Bourguignon

February 6 2020 Golubka Kitchen 

Mushroom Bourguignon This Mushroom Bourguignon is one of my favorite things to cook on a winter weekend. It’s so fun to put together (makes you feel a little bit like Julia Child), it fills the house with the most incredible, cozy smells, and the result is a savory, earthy dream. My husband and I cooked this for Valentine’s Day last year, and I shared the whole process on our Instagram stories. The amount of recipe requests I got afterwards had me thinking that I should write it up for the blog. Finally sharing it a whole year later! Make this with your love or friend, or just for yourself on Valentine’s day or any other day when you’ve got some time to cozy up in the kitchen. I think you will really love it. I find that this recipe does well with some time and care – it’s not really a weeknight type of deal, and that’s truly the fun of it. For one, I highly suggest making your own mushroom, veggie and miso broth for this stew. You can use store-bought broth and your Bourguignon will still be really delicious, but the homemade broth will take it to that next, next level. This dish is all about layers of deep flavors, and the broth is a true backbone of that. Making your own broth is also not hard at all – it’s just a matter of throwing things in the pot and letting them do their own thing. When I made the Mushroom Bourguignon pictured here, I made the broth in the morning, and it was there waiting for me when I started cooking the stew later in the day. No big deal. I love that this dish is made mostly with very straightforward, common, pantry and crisper-friendly ingredients, but the flavor is so special and so much greater than the sum of its parts. These kinds of recipes are always my favorites. You can see how this Bourguignon comes together step-by-step on our Instagram stories later today. Enjoy! Mushroom Bourguignon   Print Serves: 4 Ingredients for the mushroom bourguignon olive oil or avocado oil 1 lb crimini or other mushrooms of choice - stemmed if necessary, sliced sea salt 20 Cipollini or pearl onions 1 yellow onion - diced 2 medium carrots - sliced 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves - chopped ½ teaspoon smoked paprika freshly ground black pepper 5 cloves garlic - minced 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 cup red wine 3½ cups mushroom veggie broth (recipe below) or store-bought broth, plus more if needed 2 bay leaves 1½ tablespoon all-purpose flour mashed or smashed potatoes - for serving parsley - for garnish for the mushroom veggie broth 1 oz dried porcini 1 large carrot 2-3 celery ribs 1 yellow onion - skin on 1 leek - white and green parts 5 cloves of garlic - smashed handful fresh thyme 1-2 pitted dates - for deeper flavor (optional) sea salt 1 tablespoon white miso Instructions to make the mushroom bourguignon Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pot, letting it heat up. Add the mushrooms and begin browning. Stir once to coat the mushrooms in the oil, then let sit completely undisturbed. Depending on the variety of mushrooms youre using, they will likely release lots of water. Wait for the water to cook off almost completely before stirring, about 10 minutes, that way the mushrooms will brown properly. Stir, add a generous pinch of salt, and let the mushrooms cook for a few more minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside until later. Wipe the bottom of the pan if necessary and add another generous pour of oil. Add the Cipollini/­­pearl onions, stir to coat in the oil and let shimmer for the undersides to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Stir to flip and let brown for another 2-3 minutes. Add the yellow onion, carrots, thyme, smoked paprika, a generous pinch of salt, and lots of of black pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste, and sauté for 1 more minute. Add the cooked mushrooms back to the pot and stir to incorporate with the other ingredients. Add the wine to the pot, bring it up to a simmer and let simmer and reduce for 3-5 minutes. Add the broth, bay leaves, and another pinch of salt, making sure to add enough broth to achieve a chunky stew consistency. Bring the stew up to a simmer and simmer, covered, for 1 hour, adding more broth if necessary. Discard the bay leaves at the end. Put the flour in a small bowl. Take a small ladle-full of the broth from the stew and pour over the flour. Whisk together until smooth. Pour the slurry back into the stew, mix, and let simmer for another 5 minutes for the stew to thicken. Serve the Mushroom Bourguignon over mashed or smashed potatoes, garnished with parsley. to make the mushroom veggie broth Combine all the ingredients in a large pot with at least 10 cups of purified water. Salt well. Its not necessary to include all the vegetables listed, but the more you include, the more flavorful the broth. You can also include any other ingredients that you like in your veggie broth like peppercorns, bay leaf, etc. Bring up to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer, covered, for about 1 hour. Put the miso in a small bowl and pour a little bit of the broth over it. Whisk together until you have a smooth paste. Pour it back into the pot with the broth and mix well. You will have leftover broth after making the bourguignon. Its delicious to sip on its own or in any other stew or soup, and it freezes very well. Notes We used crimini and white beech mushrooms for the Mushroom Bourguignon pictured here. 3.5.3226 The post Mushroom Bourguignon appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

Chocolate Ganache Toast

December 25 2019 Manjula's kitchen 

Chocolate Ganache Toast (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Print Chocolate Ganache Toast Chocolate Ganache Toast is a delicious rich chocolate ganache spread over buttery toasted bread. The chocolate ganache is so simple to make with heavy cream and a hint of vanilla. This is a mouthwatering treat which can be served as a snack or even a dessert. You can even make this recipe with your children as it is so easy! You can make this treat in a variety of different ways, even with fresh fruit. This recipe has wonderful flavor combinations that appeals to all ages. Course Dessert, Snack Cuisine Fusion Keyword Chocolate Ganache Bites, Dessert, Easy Recipe, Home Made, Kids Friendly, Party Snack, Sophisticated, Teatime Snack, World Class Recipe Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes Total Time 15 minutes Servings 4 people IngredientsFor Toast8 thin slices of French bread 2 Tbsp melted butter For Chocolate Ganache 1/­­2 cup chocolate chips semi-sweet 1/­­3 cup heavy cream 1 tsp vanilla essence For Topping2 Tbsp sliced almonds 2 Tbsp coconut powder Few pieces thinly slice strawberries Few pieces thinly sliced banana 1 tsp sea salt InstructionsFor ToastLightly butter the bread from both sides and toast to make them crisp. For GanachePlace chocolate in a bowl and add the vanilla essence. Bring the heavy cream to boil and turn off the heat. Pour the cream over chocolate and stir until chocolate completely dissolve and become glossy. As ganache cool it will become little thick in consistency. For ServingSpread Chocolate Ganache generously over toasted bread and garnish with your choice of topping. Sprinkle a pinch of salt, this adds a sophisticated touch. Sample a few of these suggested ways to make chocolate toast and find your favorite. NotesYou will also enjoy some of these simple recipes, Homemade Hot Chocolate, Palak Puri, Baked vegetable Idli The post Chocolate Ganache Toast appeared first on Manjula's Kitchen.

Lisa O’Connor

December 8 2019 Golubka Kitchen 

Lisa O’Connor Lisa O’Connor is a Toronto-based Holistic Nutritionist, Healing Alchemist, and host of the Glow Deep Podcast. We interviewed Lisa about her daily routines and practices, approach to food, exercise, skincare, healing and much more. Routine -- Is routine important to you or do you like things to be more open and free? Both! Im a naturally disciplined soul, so I have no problems at all committing to something. I thrive off of routine, but Ive been learning to be way more in flow these past few years. Especially with creating my own schedule and building my business /­­ practice, and now with the arrival of our puppy. My schedule got shifted around quite a bit, as he needs A LOT of attention and training at this moment! Im learning to find my own rhythm between routine, and free flow. Which I believe is always a dance for us as we transition through different seasons, and times of our lives. -- What do your mornings look like? Now with a puppy things have shifted! -We are morning people – getting up anywhere between 5-6am -A liter of water first thing -A walk in nature with the pup -A little play time with him & then putting him in his crate for a nap, so I can have me time -Kundalini -Meditation -Matcha latte -Reading – I commit to 30-45 min daily reading in the morning -Smoothie or whatever else Im feeling -- Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well? To be honest, I dont have a lot of bedtime rituals, as I dont really have a problem with sleep. Whats important for me is turning my phone on airplane mode a good 45min- 1 hour before sleep, having a shower to shift my energy, magnesium cream, and reading a book in bed with my husband, or sometimes we watch a little something on Netflix to just switch completely off! -- Do you have any kind of mindfulness practice?  -Meditation -Walking in nature and being present -Kundalini -Im not a massive journal writer, but when it calls I listen! Sustenance -- Describe your typical or ideal meal for each of these: Breakfast – Smoothie & homemade matcha latte (I have the matcha first, and probably wait an hour or so and then have the smoothie!) Lunch – Honestly on client days I often keep it light and just snack – green juice here, smoothie there, some veggies, coconut water! And some days I just have liquids (juices, smoothies, water until dinner) on other days it could be a light salad, or a lunch out with a friend at a local healthy restaurant Snack – Im not too much of a snack person! But I would say nuts /­­ seeds, green juice, maybe a piece of fruit in the summer Dinner - Green salad, roasted veggies, curries, soups, brown rice -- Do you do caffeine and in what form? If not, what is your drink of choice in the morning? I do :) I drink matcha during the week, and on the weekend when I can savour a beautiful organic Americano when Im at a cafe with my husband, its just that much more special. -- What is your grocery shopping routine like? Are there things that always make it in your cart? We do our big haul on Saturdays at a place here called Organic Garage. Everything is organic, and is so reasonable in price. In the summer I also add in local markets, and farmers markets. That being said, I feel like Im always grocery shopping on the daily, as Im always picking up fresh greens, or picking up supplemental things for dinner that we didnt get during our big shop on Saturday morning. Things that we always include: -Variety of leafy greens -Olives -Bananas -Apples -Mushrooms -Celery -Lemons -Frozen berries -Avocados -Brown Rice -Fresh herbs -Variety of proteins -Cucumbers -ACV -Pumpkin seed butter -Zucchinis -White & Sweet potatoes -Garlic -Ginger -Dates -Variety nuts & seeds -Seasonal vegetables -Hemp seeds +++ More but those are always staples!  -- Do you have a sweet tooth? I know people wont like this answer, but I actually dont! I can eat 95-100% chocolate, and feel super satisfied. If Im sweetening anything I use dates, bananas, and/­­or a touch of raw honey. -- Are there any particular foods that you find to be helpful with your energy levels and general wellness? Greens!!! I am a greens monster, and feel so deeply connected to them. I love to consume their liquid sunshine properties. Potatoes are also a huge staple for me, as they are easily digested, high in fiber, and the natural sugars are burned as energy for me. Berries – I love wild blueberries and raspberries Spices /­­ herbs – Ginger, garlic, cayenne, nettle, turmeric Exercise -- Do you exercise and do you have a particular exercise routine that you repeat weekly?  I dont have anything particular right now! My favourite form of exercise is walking! Its highly underrated in my opinion. I live in a big city, without a car, so my mode of transport is Me. I find it meditative, calming, and great exercise. I also practice Kundalini yoga, and will sometimes do some resistance work (P.Volve). -- Do you find exercise to be pleasurable, torturous or perhaps a little of both? How do you put yourself in the right mindset in order to keep up with it? I find it to be an extension of me, and I dont ever have to force it. I trust my body and flow with what it wants and feels in the season of life that Im in. At the moment Ive been the least active Ive ever been, but its what feels best for me, and my body is welcoming it, and responding beautifully to it. In other seasons of my life Ive done intense and hard workouts at least 4 -5 x per week, and other times Ive done daily exercise. If there is anything Ive learnt along the way, is that nothing good comes from force. When we practice, and learn to tune- in, we will always be guided to what our body needs. In 2020 I want to get back into doing Ballet Beautiful though, as I did it for over two years and felt so graceful, feminine, yet toned. Beauty -- What is your idea of beauty, both internal and external? My idea of beauty will always be that is stems from within. And not just the foods that we eat, or supplements we take, but the thoughts we think, our mood, mental state, stress levels, how kind we are...etc. I struggled with really bad acne for years, and addressing all of the above, with nutrition + curated herbs /­­ supplements, actually brought my skin back better than before! Beauty in my eyes is always a projection, and energetic force with regards to whats going on inside. When things are aligned within, I feel beauty just radiates regardless of how we *think* we look. This beautiful energetic force truly knows no bounds. I do still enjoy to take care of my external skin, and body, but I would say its only about 10% of my regime. Everything else stems from internal work! -- What is your skincare approach – face and body? MINIMAL. People are so surprised how little I do, as I really do practice what I preach. When we focus on the internal, the external will always reflect that. I use all natural products – Face wash, rose spray, and oil (I rotate a few of my favourite brands – including Living Libations, F. Miller & Marie Veronique) In the summer I mask more (May Lindstrom or just the Aztec Clay mask) I find them too harsh for the winter, so I love a good Manuka honey mask during the winter. -- Do you have any beauty tricks you’ve found to be especially useful throughout the years? Less is more. When I was healing my skin I tried EVERYTHING. I used too many products, stripped my skin, and it all just made it worse. I find my skin is the best the less that I do. Sweating is key, so are hot /­­ cold (contrast showers), kundalini (breathwork) and again coming back to nurturing and feeding (Physical & Mental) your Internal Self, which then shows up Externally. The key is to get things moving & flowing. Digestion, lymph, liver, as this ultimately shows up on the skin. No flow, no glow. Stress, Etc. -- Do you practice any consistent routines for managing stress?  -Meditation (nothing fancy, or prescriptive, just sitting with myself) -Dog walks in nature -Kundalini Yoga -Reading -Nutrition -Seeing loved ones -Spending time with my husband, and puppy -- What measures do you take when you sense a cold/­­general feeling of being under the weather coming on? -REST /­­ SLEEP – seriously the simplest thing one can do, I just believe we feel as a society that we cant just Be, or cant just take a break -Green juicing -Hot /­­ cold showers to stimulate lymph flow and detoxification -Ginger tea -Broths /­­ soups Motivation -- Describe the actions you take or mindset you try to tap into in order to stay on track with your self-care practice and being nice to yourself? Im quite simple, easy-going, yet Ive always been disciplined, and my husband might say stubborn (my Ukrainian genes :) ). I dont find it that difficult to honour my body, mind, and soul. Ive also been on a deep healing journey since 2006 (got diagnosed with Lyme Disease in 2012), so truly these arent even actions or steps I take, they are just Me. I dont force anything, and allow for flow, ease, while still knowing, and honouring when I need to heal something deeper, take a new direction, and take care of my inner child. -- What do you consider to be the single most important change youve made to your routine or lifestyle in terms of wellness? Hmmmm I dont think there is just one thing, as I see things very holistically, and connected. I would say mind work. Focusing on mental strength, vitality, and honouring my subconscious mind, as this is where all of our habits, programs, and deep belief systems live. Our mind is everything, as the body is the unconscious mind.  -- How do you deal with periods characterized by a lack of inspiration or procrastination? Take a break! It could be an afternoon, a day or even a few. I have a tendency to force things, and when I do nothing flows. Ive learned this the hard way many times over, so I create space to go within. On the other hand, I can get inspired easily via images, nature, people, environments, so its always there for me. Its cheesy, but inspiration can hit at any moment, so I stay open. But when Im stuck, I take a step back or I schedule a brainstorming session with my husband. Just so I can talk things through, get a different perspective ( hes very smart, yet practical). In my business its just me, myself, and I, so it can get pretty insular. Although my goal for 2020 is to hire my first employee!  -- A book/­­movie/­­class that influenced your view of self-nourishment or self-care. To be honest, nothing outside of myself influenced this or my view. It was losing my health, and healing on a deep level that has brought me to where I am with self-care. Its never been anything to do, if anything its how I practice Being. Ive come to see, and know deeply that our relationship to Self – On a body, mind, and soul level is everything. If we dont show up for ourselves, than we cant for others. But if I were to pick anything in terms of external energy, I would say the book Magdalen Manuscript, its a channeled script of Mary Magdalen. It speaks about Ka energy (life force), and the power of energy that courses through all of Us. The only way to channel this energy, is to nourish ourselves from the inside out. Knowledge -- What was your path to becoming a holistic nutritionist? When I started to become ill in 2006, it set me on my path. At first it started with my own experiments, lifestyle changes, and reading /­­ self-knowledge for close to six years. Then from there, I took it further to get certified, and study formally. While Im a HN, Ive expanded my view of my work, as I go *much* deeper than just food. My story is WILD, so I wont go into all the details, but when you experience something so deep, intense, and beautiful on your own, you want to help others heal via your journey, knowledge, and gifts (which I believe we all have! Its just up to us to cultivate them). I dont believe I chose this profession, as Ive never felt more called to something. Knowing how crazy, and wild it is to lose one’s health, its my mission to help others tap themselves into their own innate healer. -- What is your healing philosophy? How do you approach working with clients? Ive come to see healing as alchemy. As a society weve been taught that we should just focus on one body part, one thing, one pill, and weve become so singular in our view point and scope of healing /­­ practice. I.E. if we are having back pain, focus on the back. Where as I see everything, and I mean everything holistically. I see the alchemy, and connection between it all – Body, Mind, and Spirit. While we might be having physical pain some place (i.e. back), yes we must look and take care of the cellular body (which I do), but we also have to look at our emotions, trauma, history, and deeper work into the soul, and subconscious. While this isnt the easy work, to me its the only way I know! So when taking on a client, this is where we go. I look at each soul as a unique and individual being. No one is alike, so there isnt a pill or protocol that fits just because someone has been diagnosed with X, and so has their friend. Those two people are so different, have been raised uniquely, have most likely experienced trauma in their own way, and are navigating different life pathways, and stressors. We navigate the deeper parts, so we can heal holistically, sustainably, and in connection with our whole Self. We arent just a body, we are so much more. When we focus on just the body, I dont believe we do ourselves any favours. This is whats often missing in chronic care of  humans and why so many people are just living and coping with pain and dis-ease. We are seeking greater depth, purpose, and fulfilment, yet were left confused, hopeless, and overwhelmed. If I can just bring someone to see that they DO have the power to heal, than man oh man, it just means everything to me! Fun and Inspiration -- What is something you are particularly excited about at the moment? Our new puppy Rumi! Hes a Rhodesian Ridgeback, so he will grow to be a big boy, but we are soaking up all the puppy cuddles right now. Also ending off a decade, ushering in a new one , and entering into the year 2020. There is a lot of potent energy coming forth, and Im feeling really charged, clear, and ready for it all. -- What do you do to unwind or treat yourself? Nothing really special, I love just the simple things in life. A hot shower, getting into my robe or a grey sweat suit, eating a nourishing dinner, and cuddling with my husband & puppy! Sometimes I will treat myself to a facial, and when I can infrared sauna sessions.  -- A book/­­song/­­movie/­­piece of art to feed the soul: Book – Anatomy of the Spirit and Course in Miracles Song/­­Album –   Anything by Bon Iver or Ben Howard or White Sun Movie –   Dirty Dancing (forever & always my favourite) Piece of Art –  I adore a lot of art  /­­ creative work, but some of my favourites include: Renaissance art, Matisse, Unconditional Magazine, Picasso, Christiane Spangsberg. This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links Our New Ebook: Golubka Kitchen Sweets! Filled with our favorite, vegan and gluten-free dessert recipes in the world. The post Lisa O’Connor appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

Meaty Mushroom Stew over Garlic Mashed Potatoes

November 18 2019 Meatless Monday 

This recipe comes to us from The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook by Jenn Sebestyen. Jenn says: “This recipe reminds me a bit of pot roasts from my childhood. Of course, back then, it was beef, not mushrooms, but the flavor profiles are similar and both dishes are warm comfort food that make me want to curl up on the couch with a big bowl.” Want more meatless recipes like this? Subscribe to our newsletter  for a weekly selection of plant-based recipes delivered right to your inbox! Serves 4 - For the Garlic Mashed Potatoes: - 2 pounds (900 g) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced -  1/­­2 teaspoon salt, or to taste - 2 tablespoons (28 g) plant-based butter or (28 ml) extra-virgin olive oil -  1/­­2 cup (120 ml) lite coconut milk, plus more as needed -  1/­­2 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste   - For the Meaty Mushroom Stew: - 2 tablespoons (28 ml) olive oil - 1 yellow onion, diced - 2 cloves garlic, minced - 2 carrots, peeled and diced - 10 ounces (280 g) sliced cremini mushrooms - 10 ounces (280 g) sliced shiitake mushrooms - 1 tablespoon (16 g) tomato paste - 2 tablespoons (28 ml) tamari, coconut aminos, or soy sauce (gluten-free, if desired) - 2 teaspoons dried thyme - 2 teaspoons dried sage - 1 1/­­2 teaspoons salt, or to taste -  1/­­4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste - 1 1/­­2 cups (355 ml) low-sodium vegetable broth - 1 cup (130 g) frozen green peas   For the Mashed Potatoes: Add the potatoes to a large pot on the stove. Cover the potatoes with water by 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm). Add 1/­­2 teaspoon of salt. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a knife. Drain and add the potatoes back to the pot. Add the butter and coconut milk. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until smooth. Add additional milk 1 tablespoon (15 ml) at a time if you like your mashed potatoes a thinner consistency. Add the garlic powder and additional salt to taste. Switch to a spatula or wooden spoon to stir and incorporate the seasonings well. Set aside.   For the Meaty Mushroom Stew: Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add the onion and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and carrots and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste, tamari, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, and vegetable broth. Increase the heat to bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low to simmer for 10 minutes. Add the green peas, stir to incorporate, and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes to heat through.   Serve the Meaty Mushroom Stew over the Garlic Mashed Potatoes. The post Meaty Mushroom Stew over Garlic Mashed Potatoes appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Edamame Burgers with Grilled Pineapple & Crispy Green Onions

August 16 2019 Oh My Veggies 

A few years ago, I thought it was a good idea to go to school full-time while working full-time as a librarian and almost full-time doing contract work for a search engine. (In case you now think I live in an alternate universe with 36 hour days, you should know that both my classes and my second job were online.) I just wanted work experience! I was in a competitive field! Also, if you have two full-time jobs, if you lose one, guess what? YOU STILL HAVE A JOB! While the schedule was just a wee bit of a drag, the bonus was that having 3 full-time incomes in a household with no children and very few expenses meant that our fun money budget was huge. So when I checked airfares to Osaka on a whim one day and found a crazy good deal, we booked ourselves some tickets and went to Japan. Japan! Best trip ever! I have loved Japan for as long as I can remember. I think it’s because I love absurdity and the people of Japan have a deep appreciation for the absurd. Japan is a place where you can buy vegetable juice-flavored Kit Kats. It’s […]

Summer Squash Caviar

July 18 2019 Golubka Kitchen 

Summer Squash Caviar Summer Squash Caviar is a lovely Russian vegetable side that offers the perfect way to utilize all the summer squash and zucchini that is so abundant at this point in the summer. I’ve been overwhelmed with the beauty and variety every time I’ve made it to the farmers market lately: regular zucchini, white or yellow zucchini, yellow summer squash, two-tone zephyr squash, pattypan, etc. etc. Most of the time, I like to slice them thin and simply sauté in olive oil with salt and pepper. But I also tend to buy way more squash than I need, since they’re all so pretty and I convince myself that I have to try every kind, and this ‘caviar’ is the perfect recipe for those situations. To us, the flavor of summer squash caviar is extremely nostalgic. Growing up in the Soviet Union and Russia, it was a spread that you could without fail expect to find jarred at the store, and you could always count on the flavor to be consistently delicious. Some people made it at home, and the home recipes usually vary a bit from family to family. Generally, it involves slowly stewing summer squash/­­zucchini, tomatoes, onions, carrot, and garlic in a pan, until all the vegetables melt together, caramelize, and develop an amazing savoriness and depth of flavor. The result is delicious warm, but even better cold. It’s mostly enjoyed spread on top of bread (or sometimes bread gets dipped in it), since something magical happens when the juices of the caramelized vegetables get sopped up by a piece of bread. Most modern recipes for summer squash caviar involve a blender, but we’ve found that it’s not really needed here. Once the vegetables stew for a while, they’re soft enough to gently mash with a potato masher. And even though the store-bought summer squash caviar of our childhoods was quite smooth, we really enjoy leaving the homemade version slightly chunky. This makes the whole recipe a one-pan affair, which is always a bonus. We hope you’ll give it a go! Summer Squash Caviar   Print Serves: 2-3 cups Ingredients 2 medium tomatoes 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 yellow onion - chopped 1 medium carrot - peeled and grated sea salt freshly ground black pepper 2 cloves garlic - minced pinch of red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon tomato paste 2.2 lbs (about 3 large) summer squash and/­­or zucchini - finely cubed 1 teaspoon coconut sugar or other sugar of choice Instructions Place the tomatoes in a medium pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds, this will make it easy to remove their skins. Remove the tomatoes from the pot, let cool a little, peel off the skins and discard. Slice the tomatoes in half, scoop out all of the seeds and discard them. Finely cube the tomatoes. Warm the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, a pinch of salt and black pepper, and sauté for 7-10 minutes, until soft. Mix in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Turn the heat down to a medium low, cover the pan, and let the vegetables stew slowly for 10 minutes, stirring periodically. Mix in the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste, cover, and let stew for another 10 minutes. Add the summer squash/­­zucchini and another pinch of salt, cover, and let stew for 30 minutes, mixing periodically. The squash should release enough water, but if the pan gets too dry, add a small splash of water to get things going. Mash the vegetables with a potato masher right in the pan, until mostly smooth with some chunks throughout. Mix in the sugar. Cover and let stew for another 10 minutes. Remove the lid, turn the heat up to medium, and let any remaining water cook off, stirring periodically. This should take 10-20 minutes. Taste for salt and adjust if needed. Let cool, transfer the caviar to an air-tight container and keep refrigerated. 3.5.3226 The post Summer Squash Caviar appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

Restaurant Highlight: Bio Solo Organico, Buenos Aires

May 28 2019 Happy Cow veggie blog 

Bio Solo Organico is not only the first organic vegetarian restaurant in Argentina, but also the whole of Latin America! Claudia Carrara is the pioneer that took the leap of opening her own vegetarian restaurant in Argentina’s charming capital of Buenos Aires. Everything started from the desire to bring her children up with the best possible nutrition. Soon enough, she began to sell natural dishes to her neighbours that she would create from the leftover vegetables she had in her kitchen. The success of her improvised cuisine led a friend to offer her a few tables where her clients could sit and enjoy healthy meals. One thing led to another and the idea of opening a restaurant was born. Originally, the main focuses of Claudias research were health, taste, and environmental sustainability. First with the humble intention to feed her kids in a conscious way, and after in the way she would develop her restaurant to have the best possible impact on her society. The name of her cuisine speaks for itself. At Bio Solo Organico, they only work with fresh, local and organic products and this is guaranteed since they were granted the Organic Certification by Food Safety. The […] The post Restaurant Highlight: Bio Solo Organico, Buenos Aires appeared first on The Veggie Blog.

Chana Masala

May 13 2019 Meatless Monday 

The chana bean, or chickpea, is a staple of the Maharashtrian diet, used in a variety of forms and variations. This Chana Masala is considered by many to be the most popular curry in India. In fact, this is one of the dishes that the women in the Masala Mamas collective make for the children in the Love2Learn school in Kalwa every week. The recipe is fairly straightforward to make, though you have to remember to soak the beans overnight. This recipe is full of aromatic Maharashtrian flavors and has a nice spicy kick. Serve with chapattis or over rice, the way the children love to eat it. This recipe is by Ranjana Ramchandra Gaiakwad and is from the cookbook Masala Mamas. Want more meatless recipes like this? Subscribe to our newsletter  for a weekly selection of plant-based recipes delivered right to your inbox! Serves 4 Ingredients: - 1 1/­­4 cup/­­ 250 gr dry chickpeas, soaked overnight in a generous amount of water -  1/­­2 tsp/­­ 2.5 ml baking soda -  1/­­2 tsp/­­ 2.5 ml turmeric - 2 Tbsp. /­­ 30 ml neutral oil - 2 tsp/­­ 10 ml whole cumin seeds - 1 tsp/­­ 5 ml mustard seeds - 4 fresh green chili peppers, chopped - 2 tsp/­­ 10 ml fresh curry leaves - 1 tsp/­­ 5 ml asafoetida (hing) - 1 tsp/­­ 5 ml finely chopped ginger - 2 tsp/­­ 10 ml garam masala - 2 tsp/­­ 10 ml ground coriander - 1 tsp/­­ 5 ml turmeric - 1 tsp/­­ 5 ml cumin - 1 tsp/­­ 5 ml red chili powder - Salt to taste   Drain the soaked chickpeas and rinse well in a colander. Fill  a  medium  or  large  saucepan  with  6  cups  of  water,  along  with  baking  soda  and  and  turmeric.  Bring to a boil, and add the soaked chickpeas.  Cook  for  1  1/­­2   hours,  or  until  chickpeas  are  thoroughly  cooked. When the  chickpeas  are  done,  heat  oil  in  a  frying  pan  over  medium    Add cumin,  mustard,  chili  peppers,  curry  leaves,  hing,  and  ginger,  and  cook  until  fragrant,  around  3-4  minutes. Add the cooked chickpeas. Stir until the chickpeas are coated with spices.  Add  garam  masala,  coriander,  turmeric,  cumin  and  red  chili  powder  and  mix    Sauté  over  medium  heat  for  a  minute  and  add  salt  to  taste. Serve over rice or with chapattis. The post Chana Masala appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Italian Style Quinoa Salad

May 1 2019 VegKitchen 

Italian Style Quinoa Salad This salad can be serve cold or warm, and children love it! Its super important to rinse the quinoa before cooking. Then cook it in water or broth, not forgetting the bay leaf. The post Italian Style Quinoa Salad appeared first on VegKitchen.

Restaurant Review: Wave in London

April 1 2019 Happy Cow veggie blog 

We Are Vegan Everything The creators of WAVE wanted to create a place where people could eat tasty, home cooked food away from the hustle of London stress and feel right at home. They are so inspired by home cooking. Every time they make something or eat something amazing they cant wait to tell each other, trying to recreate childhood meals too, into a modernized vegan version. WAVE strives for food that gives you more than a full belly. It’s about the colours, the smells and the textures. They have given themselves a project: everything they create needs to feel like there’s nothing missing. They want to show people that vegan food doesn’t mean that something is missing from the meal. Offerings include a bircher bowl, pancakes, sandwiches, toasties, freakshakes, smoothies, smoothies bowls, juices, cupcakes, brownies and more. WAVE Feels The owners have lovingly created WAVE, a little hideaway down an alley way off of busy Mare Street in Hackney where people can step into their world. They dream big and have created their very own dream come true–from the look and feel of the venue, to the staff they have serving clientele. They’re all friends, and all passionate about food […] The post Restaurant Review: Wave in London appeared first on The Veggie Blog.


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