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5 Vegetarian Swaps to Boost Nutrition in Sweet Treats

November 23 2020 Vegetarian Times 

Choose Whole Grains Theres a reason the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend to make at least 50% of your grains whole: theyre packed with essential vitamins and minerals that keep your body running at its peak! When gearing up to bake that family favorite sugar cookie or bread loaf, consider swapping half of the all-purpose flour for a whole-wheat flour until you can make the full switch (this Healthy Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Loaf is a great recipe to start with!) Traditionally, when you start small like this its an easy way to slowly get your pallet to adjust to the change while boosting the fiber of the entire slice (or cookie) too! If youre gluten-free, consider using a recipe that calls for gluten-free oat flour or almond flour (like these Healthy Pumpkin Muffins) so you also reap the benefits of the fiber. Amp Up Those Omegas with Walnuts Pumpkin, pecan, or apple pie calling your name this season? Consider swapping out that white flour and butter crust for a delicious (and nutritious) walnut-based crust. Walnuts pack 2.5 grams of the plant-based version of the omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), in addition to 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber in a one-ounce portion. While many name brands have begun selling their own walnut crusts in the baking section at your local market, they often contain flour and butter in small amounts to help hold the crust together. Not a deal-breaker if youre tight on time, but defeats the purpose of the swap if youre trying to keep this treat gluten-free and vegan. Consider making your own (check out a simple recipe idea here) by pulsing walnuts with a date paste or syrup in your food processor, then shaping into a pie crust and freezing until ready to bake. Related: 7 Tips for Shaking Sugar Think natural When It Comes to Sugar Its no secret most people eat WAY more added sugar than recommended (for reference, on average Americans eat about 17 teaspoons of added sugar a day when the recommendation is closer to 12 teaspoons or below for a 2000 calorie diet!) And friends, beware, coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, and good ole cane sugar are ALL just different types of added sugars (one isnt better than the other.) To help satisfy that sweet tooth, consider using the natural sugars found in sweet fruits and vegetables, like apples, dates, and sweet potatoes, in your baked goods. Depending on the type of recipe youre making, you should be able to reduce the added sugar by at least a third when you sub in unsweetened applesauce (like these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars do!) Note you will also need to modify the fat amount (like the oil or butter used) so the texture continues to be the same. Boost Fiber with Beans Chocolate is abundant this season and for good reason: its delicious and its packed with flavonoids. But what if you took that decadent chocolate and brought it up a notch to boost the fiber and create a decadent dark chocolate dip to serve alongside graham crackers, gingerbread, or fresh fruit? Youd be the hostess with the most-ess for sure! Begin by pureeing a cup of beans alongside melted dark chocolate or dark cocoa powder, dates for natural sweetness, and your favorite nut or seed butter of choice. Blend until its a smooth, hummus-like consistency and enjoy! (Use this Sweet Hummus Recipe as your guide.) Power Up with Protein Cream pies and bundt cakes are certainly popular around the holiday season, but that doesnt mean you cant do over the dairy! Swapping in a portion of reduced-fat Greek or skyr yogurt for sour cream helps to boost the protein while minimizing the saturated fat of your treat. If youre still not a big fan of Greek yogurt, then ease into it by starting small with the swap, with roughly a third used in place of the sour cream. In no time youll be adjusted and making the full swap, pinky promise! (Try this Butterscotch Cheesecake Pie for a nice addition to your menu this year!) The post 5 Vegetarian Swaps to Boost Nutrition in Sweet Treats appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

The Sticky Debate About Honey

November 2 2020 Vegetarian Times 

If theres one hot-button issue among vegans, its honey. While some vegans will eat it and use it, others wont, which can cause some heated debates among this group. So why not just get right to the point: Is honey vegan? The basic buzz on honey Honey bees collect nectar from flowering plants, which they regurgitate into honeycomb cells. With a little fanning from their wings to remove excess moisture, the end result is honey. The amazing fact? Making one pound of honey requires 556 worker bees, and the average worker bee will only make one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime, according to the Ontario Beekeepers Association. Because honey is so high in sugar, it then becomes an energy source for the bees, helping fuel the roughly 12,000 beats their wings take every minute. Of course, bees have been making honey ever since their existence, and its said theyve been around for about 30 million years. How long humans have been eating honey isnt entirely clear, but honey has certainly found its way into the human food system, showing up on breakfast tables, getting baked into breads and muffins, and being mixed into granolas. Honeys also a popular medicinal cure. The case against honey being vegan The first argument against honey not being vegan (though it certainly is vegetarian) is the obvious one: Honey comes from an animal, and vegans eschew any animal-based products. Animals arent ours to use, steal from or manipulate as we see fit, says Amber Canavan, senior campaigner and spokesperson for PETA in Portland, Ore. And while you might not equate bees with farmed animals like chickens, pigs and cows, there is cruelty in the raising of bees. Theyre killed and harmed in the process, Canavan says. She points to commercially bred honey bees who are kept crammed in file-cabinet type hives. When hives are ready for harvesting, its nearly impossible to open the hive and get honey out without crushing numerous bees who are trying to protect the hive, she adds. Now move to queen bees, who are often treated like female cows in the dairy industry, being artificially inseminated by force, Canavan says. Beekeepers might even clip the wings of queen bees so they cant escape and move the hive. And speaking of moving, bees are often trucked around the country, especially in the commercial industry, to pollinate plants in a given destination. Because honey bees arent native to this country, moving them around like this could introduce issues for local pollinators, she adds. Related: How to Choose Sugar Substitutes Finally, taking honey from the bees may threaten the bees health, according to The Vegan Society. Not only is their honey supply then decreased, many commercial beekeepers will take the honey off and feed them high-fructose corn syrup, which isnt good for their health, says Paul Cronshaw, co-founder and director of operations for the Santa Barbara Beekeepers Association in California, vegan and hive keeper whose hives are cruelty- and chemical-free. Putting honey on the table In spite of the above arguments, there are vegans who do consume and use honey, Cronshaw being one of them. My philosophy is that the bees are using honey as a survival food in a house that Im providing, and I take only a minimal amount for rent, he says, adding that this was the first year hes taken from them in years because of the now-ended drought in California. As a result, the bees produced more honey this year and were able to pay more rent. Whats his rationale for using honey? I use honey for medicine and other reasons, he says. Those reasons include helping with sore throat, improving oral health, and aiding with wound healing. Case in point: He was bitten on the hand by a dog recently and used Manuka honey to heal while honey helped him survive a foot injury on a nine-day backpacking trip in the Sierras a few years ago. And while nobodys advocating supporting commercial beekeepers, supporting local ones can help the bee population survive. Numerous studies, after all, point to the collapse of bees who help pollinate numerous food crops. Although honey bees arent in danger of extinction, they are in decline, albeit a big slower because humans are their shepherds or keepers, he adds. If you do decide to use honey, Cronshaw recommends connecting with local beekeepers to find out how they practice beekeeping. Most local beekeepers arent trucking their hives around the country, arent using harmful fillers after taking the bees honey and are working hard not to kill bees. You can raise bees without killing them, he says. The good news is that you dont have to eat or use honey if you dont want to. There are so many alternatives on the market now, Canavan says. Not only can you choose from things like maple syrup, stevia, blackstrap molasses and agave syrup, theres even vegan honey. You can also help local pollinators by planting plants they like and creating a pollinator-friendly yard.   The post The Sticky Debate About Honey appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

VT Tried It: Justin’s Peanut Butter

October 2 2020 Vegetarian Times 

As a vegetarian living an active lifestyle, Justin was on a mission to create something better. Given that nut butter was a staple in his diet, plain old peanut butter just wasnt cutting it. He dreamt up his own flavors and an assortment of experimental nut butters began to fill his cabinets. After weeks of hungry roommates stealing his tasty creations, Justin decided to write his name on the jar.  Justin’s uses organic ingredients, Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa, sustainably sourced palm oil, recyclable packaging, and made with windpower. Justins Maple Almond Butter: The denser texture and subtle maple flavor pairs well with something juicy like an apple for a healthy and satisfying snack that doesnt leave you hungry later. It didnt take much to be nicely filling.   Justins Honey Peanut Butter: This spreads well, and would pair well with crackers or with celery as a healthier alternative. Nicely sweet but honey taste is still subtle. We paired this with apple slices, which was very satisfying even for colleagues who dont like apples (yes, they are an odd bunch!). These travel pouches are great for the hiking trail, or office snack drawer, and would be a great snack while watching kids sports g Justin’s offers recipes to cook with your favorite nut butters ->  The post VT Tried It: Justin’s Peanut Butter appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

12 Road Trip-Worthy Snacks

September 25 2020 Vegetarian Times 

If the walls of your home feel like theyre closing in, youre not alone. Two-thirds of Americans (67%) say that staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic has made them want to take a vacation, according to a survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Shell.  But with so many travel restrictions and concerns about health safety while flying, its no wonder that many people trying to scratch their travel itch are turning to good, old fashioned road trips -- 36% of Americans say that they are more likely to take a road trip now than they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and 61% of Americans are now more interested in taking a local road trip to explore areas close to home.  Before you hit the open road, theres plenty to do: packing, creating a playlist that captures the vibe of your destination, planning your itinerary and, of course, stocking up on car-friendly snacks. While vacation may seem like the perfect excuse to indulge in junk food, those snacks could leave you feeling lethargic and bloated during a time when youd much rather feel energetic and carefree.  Thankfully, theres no shortage of vegan-friendly snacks that are mess-free, nutritious, and tasty. Weve rounded up some of our favorites: Quinn Grain-Free Pretzel Chips Nothing beats the crunch of a pretzel -- and everyone living a gluten-free lifestyle knows that grain-free pretzel replacements typically leave a lot to be desired. Not the case with Quinn Grain-Free Pretzel Chips; youd never know it was grain-free thanks to its near-identical texture (they are made from cassava flour, a gluten-free root vegetable) and spot-on flavoring (shout out to the Cracked Black Pepper variety!). Theyre non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and the shape makes them perfect for dipping into your favorite condiment (but maybe not in the car, okay?). Shop now Pans Mushroom Jerky Beef jerky is a classic road-trip snack -- but who needs the beef? Pans mushroom jerky is made from shitake mushrooms, which is one of the meatiest mushrooms. Plus, mushrooms impart that beloved umami flavor everyone craves. These fiber-filled snacks are rich in vitamin D, vegan, gluten-free and theres flavor for any mood youre in: Zesty Thai, Applewood BBQ, Salty & Pepper and Original.  Shop now SkinnyDipped Nuts When you cant decide if you want salty or sweet or chocolate, reach for a bag of SkinnyDipped Super Dark + Sea Salt almonds -- these almonds are dipped with extra dark 73% artisan cacao, and sprinkled with a hint of sea salt. A serving size of these vegan goodies offers 5 grams of plant protein and less sugar than an apple. The whole line is vegetarian, including the SkinnyDipped Cashews in Dark Chocolate Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel. Shop now Undressed Salad Bar Salads arent exactly considered a portable snack, which is why Anne Klassman founded Undressed to throw in her purse or glove compartment -- its a salad in a bar form, with 5-7 grams of protein from its toasted almond base and a full serving of vegetables. Choose from Chipotle Cranberry, Cilantro Lime, Honey Mustard and Sesame Ginger depending on your craving. Theres no sugar added, and these vegan bars are gluten-free, too. Shop now Omnom SuperChocoBerryBarleyNibblyNuttylicious Nope, that wasnt a typo -- when something is this tasty, it deserves a name that stands out from the crowd! Picture a delicious, nutritious dark chocolate bar made from organic Tanzanian cocoa beans thats sprinkled with cranberries, salted almonds, puffed Icelandic barley and cacao nibs. And voila, you have a SuperChocoBerryBarleyNibblyNuttylicious bar. Hot tip: Theres no need to relegate Omnoms superfood creation to your car -- its also a great way to boost your energy on a hike. Shop now Natures Garden Omega-3 Deluxe Mix No road trip is complete without a healthy dose of trail mix, but traditional peanuts and granola dont hold a candle to Natures Gardens Omega-3 Deluxe Mix. This blend of ingredients was thoughtfully chosen for its nutritional qualities: almonds for vitamin E, pecans for fiber, walnuts for omega-3 fatty acids, cranberries for adding more fruit to your day, pistachios for protein and vitamin B6, and pepitas for magnesium and iron. Bonus: The bag is resealable, so you wont have any messy spills in the car. Shop now LesserEvil Veggie Sticks A salad you can eat with your fingers? Its not rude, its LesserEvils new Grain Free Veggie Snacks! The two flavors -- Himalayan Pink Salt and Vegan Ranch -- offer up grain-free goodness made with organic olive oil. Organic veggies are the first ingredient (a blend of vegetable flours and powders), and they are certified USDA organic, vegan, paleo, non-GMO, grain-free, gluten-free and kosher to boot. Pro tip: Your kids will love them and have no idea they are ingesting an extra helping of veggies. Shop now Seven Sundays Muesli While road trips may evoke fond memories of your childhood, the sugar-laden and gluten-packed muesli of your formative years are best left behind. Instead, choose Seven Sundays Muesli, which is chockfull of nutrient-dense superfoods. The Rise & Shine Strawberry Banana Nut Mix -- a cereal/­­trail mix hybrid, so feel free to add almond or oat milk as desired -- has only 5 net carbs, and is grain-free, gluten-free, and keto-friendly. Plus, you can easily pronounce every ingredient: Almonds, coconut, sunflower seeds, dates, Bing cherries, pecans, chia seeds, sesame seeds, bananas, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, strawberries, cinnamon, and pure vanilla extract.  Shop now Biena Chickpea Snacks Chickpeas to go? Yes please! Bienas Chickpea Snacks are light, crispy roasted chickpeas that boast 5-6 grams of plant protein and fiber. The vegan varieties include Barbecue, Habanero, Ranch and Sea Salt -- and they are non-GMO, grain-free, gluten-free, and nut-free. They are perfect to pop in your mouth on the road, and back home they work well as salad and soup toppers. Shop now CaPao Smoothie Balls Missing your morning smoothie while on the road? CaPao Smoothie Balls may help keep your routine intact. These plant-based snacks are made from zesty cacao fruit pulp, nuts and seeds. Choose from Apricot, Plant Protein and Golden Berries, Golden Berries, Apricot and Chia Seeds, and Mango, Cashew and Coconut. Cacao is the same magical plant that gives us chocolate -- but 75% of the cacaofruit is underutilized or simply thrown away after the cocoa beans are extracted for making chocolate, leaving behind husk, pulp and cocoa butter. So, CaPao uses the wasted nutrition found in the pulp and husk in its products, as these components contain magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, fiber and many essential B vitamins. Shop now ZENB Veggie Bites Veggies are one of the healthiest snacks, but who has time to peel and prep a bunch of produce before a road trip? When youre away from home, rely on ZENBs Veggie Bites. They offer a full cup of vegetables in each pouch and use the whole vegetable -- stems, skin, seeds and all -- so you get extra nutrition, like fiber. The vegan, non-GMO, organic and gluten-free bites come in a resealable package with five flavors: Edamame, Red Bell Pepper, Summer Beets, Sweet Potato and Sweet Corn. Shop now The Goods Mart Vegan Snack Box Dont have time to shop for individual snacks? Want to try something new? Let The Goods Mart -- a socially conscious convenience store in Soho, NYC -- curate and ship a vegan snack box especially for you. Simply choose the size of your box, let them know whether youre craving salty, sweet or savory, and alert them to any allergies. All the snacks are non-GMO, contain no artificial colors or flavors, and are sure to satisfy any craving that pops up during your travels. Shop now The post 12 Road Trip-Worthy Snacks appeared first on Vegetarian Times.

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.

10 Recipes for When You’re Craving a Snack, Munchy, or Quick Bite

April 13 2020 Meatless Monday 

10 Recipes for When You’re Craving a Snack, Munchy, or Quick Bite Sometimes our snack cravings cannot be satisfied with prepackaged crackers or chips or granola bars. In these situations, our mouths demand something more: something fresh or familiar or homemade. Thats why weve compiled a list of our favorite easy-to-make snacks and quick bites. These plant-based recipes offer new versions of classic dishes, many of which are better for your body and overall health. Let baked apple donuts, cauliflower Buffalo bites, and polenta fries provide a temporary escape from the packaged, the frozen, and the processed. This Monday, try experimenting with the snacks and bites below. Apple Donuts Everyone appreciates a freshly baked donut. Whip these up in 30 minutes or less. For the Apple Donuts recipe, click here .     Baked Zucchini Fries No deep-fryer required for these better-for-you veggie fries. This recipe can be made completely plant-based by swapping out the egg, cheese and yogurt with plant-based equivalents. For the Baked Zucchini Fries recipe, click here . Banana Sticky Rice Pull out one of these packets of banana-stuffed coconut sticky rice for a fragrant and fun plant-based snack. The texture of these banana sticky rice pouches are simply divine. For the Banana Sticky Rice recipe, click here . Cauliflower Buffalo Wing Bites We often find ourselves digging through our shelves or refrigerator looking for just a bite. Well, look no further than these super-simple hot-and-spicy cauliflower Buffalo wing bites. For the Cauliflower Buffalo Wing Bites recipe, click here . Cinnamon Ginger Apple Chips Easy as slice, boil, bake. Sprinkle the chips with your favorite seasonings (we recommend ginger, cinnamon, and curry powder) and pop in the oven until crisp. For the Cinnamon Ginger Apple Chips, click here .   Mediterranean Nachos A healthy spin on the everyones favorite junk food, these Mediterranean nachos are loaded with vegetables and fresh herbs. Swap out the fried tortilla chips for some baked whole-wheat pita wedges. For the Mediterranean Nachos recipe, click here . Polenta Basil Fries Create a luxurious alternative to French fries with these simple yet elegant polenta fries. Buy premade polenta (or easily make your own with cornmeal), cut into fry-like sticks, toss with olive oil, fresh basil, salt, and pepper, and bake. All you need is your favorite marinara sauce, and youre ready to start dipping. For the Baked Polenta Basil Fries recipe, click here . Quinoa Chili Fries Chili fries are delicious, but they have a saucy reputation. Clean them up by swapping out meaty chili for a lighter, yet equally flavorful, blend of quinoa, poblano peppers, and beans. For the Quinoa Chili Fries recipe, click here .   Spicy Jalape?o Cashew Cheese Dip This one requires a little bit of foresight: soak cashews the night before and then pop all the ingredients -- cashews, garlic, lemon juice, jalape?os -- into a food processor and blend till creamy. Transfer to a microwave dish, give a quick zap, and voila. Quicker prep tip: soak the cashews in a bowl of very hot water for 20 minutes and use high speed blender. Spicy Jalape?o Cashew Cheese Dip recipe, click here . Three-Ingredient Scallion Pancakes Flour, water, scallions, thats all you need to make these take-out grade scallion pancakes. Blend together a dipping sauce by combining soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, a dash of honey or agave, and some red pepper flakes. For the Three-Ingredient Scallion Pancakes recipe, click here .     Click here for more Meatless Monday recipes. When posting pictures of recipes to your social media network, tag @MeatlessMonday use #MeatlessMonday to show the plant-based community your creation. The post 10 Recipes for When You’re Craving a Snack, Munchy, or Quick Bite appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Pineapple Carrot Muffins

March 2 2020 Meatless Monday 

These delectable muffins are naturally sweetened with pineapple and agave nectar. They’re freezer friendly too, so make a batch and munch on one every morning for the next two weeks. This recipe comes to us from Catherine of Weelicious. Serves 14 - 1 1/­­4 cup all purpose flour - 3/­­4 cup wheat flour - 2 teaspoons baking powder - 1/­­2 teaspoons baking soda - 1/­­2 teaspoon salt - 1/­­2 cup butter, melted - 1/­­2 cup agave nectar* - 2 eggs - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract - 1/­­2 cup pineapple, chopped fine and drained well - or - 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained well - 1 cup carrot, shredded - 1/­­2 cup walnuts** * Agave (ah-Gah-vay) nectar is similar in taste & texture to honey but has a lower impact on blood sugar when compared other sweeteners. Agave can be found in the health food or specialty food aisle of most grocery stores. **optional Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tins with paper muffin cups. In a large bowl combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl combine the butter and agave using a whisk or an electric beater to combine. Add the eggs to the butter agave mixture and whisk to combine. Add the vanilla, pineapple, carrots and walnuts to the butter mixture and stir until incorporated. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined, making sure not to over mix. Pour the batter into regular size, paper lined muffin cups. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and enjoy! The post Pineapple Carrot Muffins appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Just-as-Sweet-as-Honey Cake

December 13 2019 VegKitchen 

Just-as-Sweet-as-Honey Cake Ashkenazi Jews consider honey cake to be an integral part of their New Year celebration. Here, a combination of agave nectar and maple syrup add up to make a vegan honey cake that’s practically indistinguishable from the classic version. Adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. The post Just-as-Sweet-as-Honey Cake appeared first on VegKitchen.

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.

Broiled Persimmons with Greek Yogurt

September 23 2019 Meatless Monday 

Broiled to perfection, these persimmons are then topped with creamy greek yogurt and toasted walnuts. Perfect for breakfast or dessert. This recipe comes to us from The Domestic Dietitian . 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 - 2 persimmons, sliced into rounds - 1-2 tsp sugar (or honey) - 1/­­3 cup plain, greek yogurt - 1/­­4 cup walnuts, chopped   Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the walnuts out on a sheet pan, in a single layer and roast in the oven for about 5-8 minutes, until lightly toasted. Remove and set aside to cool Set the oven to the broil feature Lay a sheet of foil on a baking sheet and spray with non-stick cooking spray Lay the sliced persimmons on the sheet pan, in a single layer Sprinkle lightly with sugar (or honey if you prefer) Broil in the oven for about 4-5 minutes, until tops are golden brown Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly Place about 2 tbsp greek yogurt on each plate, add 2 slices of broiled persimmons and top with toasted walnuts The post Broiled Persimmons with Greek Yogurt appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Green Bean Salad

July 31 2019 VegKitchen 

Green Bean Salad This simple Green Bean Salad showcases fresh seasonal vegetables and is perfect as a side dish on a BBQ night.   Save Print Green Bean Salad Serves: 8   Ingredients 1 lb green beans 25 cherry tomatoes, cut in half 1 bell pepper 3 French shallots, finely chopped 50 mL olive oil 25 mL balsamic vinegar 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp honey 1/­­4 cup fresh parsley salt and pepper Instructions Strain the beans and steam for about 6 minutes. The post Green Bean Salad appeared first on VegKitchen.

Self-Care Interview Series: Rachelle Robinett

May 5 2019 Golubka Kitchen 

Self-Care Interview Series: Rachelle Robinett Rachelle Robinett is an Herbalist, Holistic Health Practitioner, and founder of Supernatural, a company dedicated to real-world plant-based wellness. Rachelle has been studying the relationship between plants and people her entire life – be that on a farm in the Pacific Northwest (where she grew up) to time with healers, specialists, and shaman in farther-away places. She now provides functional plant-based wellness services, products, and education to empower people to understand their health, and lean into it, naturally. Routine -- Is routine important to you or do you like things to be more open and free? This has changed a lot for me since launching my company and having total control of my schedule. I do schedule every thing, but also move through life very intuitively. For example, on a day off Ill plan to ride my bike but once Im on it, it doesnt matter to me where I go. There are things I do routinely (meal preparation, exercise, rituals, sleep) but I never ignore instincts or anything my body is telling me. I love to be surprised but also care so much about how I spend every moment that planning is a big part of my life. -- What do your mornings look like? If they differ from day to day, describe your ideal morning. No more alarm clock! Or, infrequently, which isnt something I would have predicted for my life. Ill wake up to open windows and the sounds of birds on a breeze. A glass of water with a tincture and probiotics. If its a day off, Ill skip caffeine and head out for a run while Im still sleepy. I love waking up while I run. A work day means a small cup of cold-brew with MCT oil and (currently, though it changes as I work with different herbs) mucuna pruriens and L-theanine. I practice intermittent fasting daily so dont typically eat until 11am or later but in the morning Ill make a broth or giant green juice and also a smoothie, which becomes brunch. A meditation ritual with some South American plants Ive come to love and then its off to the races. -- Do you have any bedtime rituals that help you sleep well? Getting away from blue light! If Im near screens, they have physical filters and apps (like flux) installed to reduce the effect. Dimmed lights, incense, my Zen Spa Stuff playlist, and something to drink. There are always herbs at night as my energy tends to run very high, naturally. I cycle between kava kava, skullcap, valerian, poppy, lavender, and more. Also very in love with a relaxing face-washing routine. :) -- Do you have any kind of mindfulness practice?  Im working diligently at becoming a more regular meditator. Its most days now, but Id like to deepen it. Otherwise, yoga, running and long bike rides silence my mind. I can practice yoga (ashtanga) for hours a day and be thrilled. Sustenance -- Describe your typical or ideal meal for each of these: Breakfast – A giant smoothie made with fresh tropical fruits and fats, ideally picked from a jungle farm that morning. Lunch – All the vegetables, fresh and raw and local. Amazing olive oil, avocado, or coconut. Maybe some seeds. Seaweed too. Every color of the rainbow. Snack – 100% cacao. Local. Dinner - See lunch. -- Do you do caffeine and in what form? If not, what is your drink of choice in the morning? Currently I have about 1/­­2 cup of cold-brew coffee that we make at home. Im so high energy naturally that I often dont finish it. Green juice is my favorite energy support. Otherwise I use water, food, sunlight and breath to adjust my energy. -- Do you have a sweet tooth and do you take any measures to keep it in check? Dark chocolate – often homemade but if bought its 92 – 100%. Ill eat that for breakfast, honestly. My sugar intake is so low that sweets cravings are rare but if they get aggressive Ill have extra cacao in smoothies or elixirs, or eat more fruit, sweet potatoes/­­yams, etc. Chocolate chip cookies are dear to my heart though. -- Are there any particular supplements, herbs, or tinctures/­­tonics that you take regularly and find to be helpful with your energy level and general wellness? This evolves as I learn and grow too but ... – An excellent probiotic – Personalized herbs. For me those are mood-supportive and nervous-system soothing. I use a combination of herbal teas (infused overnight), tinctures (HerbPharm are my favorite!) and well-sourced powders. – Supplements depending on bloodwork, body composition and lifestyle. – Im seeing the greatest overall health changes in my clients who are working on gut health. It just affects so much! Exercise -- Do you exercise and do you have a particular exercise routine that you repeat weekly?  I live to move. Every single day if possible! If I skip more than two days, I get really restless. Running and yoga are my favorite, but I need both. I joke that running is my church; I treasure it and find it extremely cathartic. Yoga keeps everything balanced and I hope to have the practice for life. Weather permitting, Ill ride my bike for hours but that just feels like play. Im also into strength training (aka lifting weights at the gym, which surprises people). Overall, I consider exercise as essential as good food, water, and sleep. My preference for high-intensity exhaustive stuff comes from my high-energy personality but isnt necessary for everyone. Ive seen some of the fastest changes in my body with a daily yoga practice, some walking, and an excellent diet. -- 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? Absolutely heavenly. Excellent playlists are essential! Also, just do it. ;) Beauty -- Are there any foods, herbs or supplements you find to be helpful to your skin/­­hair/­­general glow? I think people doubt me when I say greens, and especially green juice, are responsible for the glow but I really mean it. Veggies veggies veggies, healthy fat, tons of water, and sweat! -- Do you have any beauty tips/­­tricks you’ve found to be especially useful throughout the years? Aside from food, water, rest, and sweat, I find that a consistent routine of gentle exfoliation and good quality rehydration (topically, that is) work best for me. Continually renewing the surface, allowing skin to breathe, and keeping it nourished with really simple ingredients (I love Egyptian Magic and fruit enzyme or honey-based masks) gives really great face. That said, Im not an esthetician and have increasingly more respect for what I dont know about skincare (thanks to spending more time with the professionals at CAP Beauty, especially) and it will differ for everyone. What wont differ is the value of a right diet to help reduce inflammation, increase circulation, maintain hydration, and provide enough energy for both exercising and rest. :) Stress, etc. -- Do you practice any consistent routines in order to avoid stress? Exercise and sleep have always been stress-reliefs for me. Ive recently integrated more meditation, and herbs of course (especially nervines). Whats making the greatest difference, though, is - as with most things - addressing the root cause or source of the stress. Rather than just trying to breathe between emails, Im looking at how to reduce email overall. Setting timers, limits on the number of meetings Ill take each day, inbox pausing, and scheduling (and sticking to) more time truly offline. Personal days, screen-free evenings or weekends, etc. If doing this, its important to prepare for there to be more to address when you return to it, so another part of the practice may be letting go of how much we want to engage with and choosing quality over quantity. Much harder said than done. -- What measures do you take when you sense a cold/­­general feeling of being under the weather coming on? Heat and spice! I completely eliminate all sugar including fruit and yes, honey too. I put on three extra layers to get warm and stay warm. Garlic, ginger, and all sorts of spice. And rest. Essentially, Im aiming to help my body reach a sort of break-point with the cold/­­flu, or to sweat it out before it even reaches a peak, which Ive had a lot of success with. Medicinal mushrooms can also be great for cold/­­flu season. -- How do you reconcile work-time with free-time? Do those things overlap for you or do you keep them distinctly separate? Im working on this. (See above regarding stress avoidance!) My work is my play is my passion is my love so whats not work is sometimes very hard to determine. My hypnotherapist friend suggests that if it makes me happy, perhaps its not important to distinguish. My partner has inspired me to take in information from sources entirely outside of my usual bubble, which is great for play, and avoiding a filtered or algorithmic existence. This is a new practice for me. I grew up in a home that didnt allow for play so its something Im creating space for and learning how to do as an adult. 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? Ive found that its just impossible to be my best self when Im not taking care. Its really priority number one (and two, and maybe three) at this point. That said, there are times when life when its worth compromising different things. Like, in my twenties when I worked my ass off (and loved it) in order to achieve certain things. Now, I feel freer to play and rest. These bodies are our only homes in this life. I am so grateful to have one; I really think of it like my best friend and partner in existence. -- What do you consider to be the single most important change youve made to your routine or lifestyle in terms of wellness? Learning how to eat entirely plant-based, and well. -- How do you deal with periods characterized by a lack of inspiration or procrastination? Thankfully, I dont have these. But, the opposite side of that spectrum is overworking, under-socializing, or burnout. And, existential crises which seem to strike when things are best. Rest and changes of scenery can do wonders. (Lately, I have been exploring procrastination from the perspective of mindfulness, though. This is an enlightening talk on it.) -- A book/­­movie/­­class that influenced your view of self-nourishment or self-care. Instead Ill choose a couple of people: My mom, who as a Dietician gave me the greatest start in understanding nutrition, but more importantly taught me how to listen to my body. Rather than bandaging symptoms, she showed us how to ask why and follow the clues to root causes. My dad, an Anaesthesiologist who - much the opposite of Mom - taught us about medicine yes, but of more value he gave me the travel bug and experiences with wild nature that started and perpetuate my relationship with earth. And, Wendy Green, who I met at the perfect time in my journey. She helped direct my then multitudinous health practices into a more singular approach, which Ive honed and deepened since we met years ago. She also showed me how much I love ashtanga yoga, which is the gift of a lifetime. Ill be back to her retreat for the third time this summer. Knowledge -- Do you have any recommendations for those thinking of taking their career in a similar direction? Where does one start, where to find the education, how important is certification, etc. This is one of the most common questions I receive! I appreciate Mountain Rose Herbs list of resources for those looking into schools, teachers, or even just books. Its worth knowing which certifications are recognized by The American Herbalists Guild, though many people disregard the value of that and choose to study from great herbalists or schools that exist outside of the system. Id recommend as much exploration and direct experience as possible in the form of classes, workshops, and apprenticeships before then committing to a longer-term study. Find someone whose approach you respect and identify with and learn from them in whatever ways are available. -- Tell us about HRBLS, your beautiful herb infused chew line! Woo, HRBLS! These are my babies! Long story short, I wanted to give people an easy, delicious, beautiful but still very effective form of herbs. The HRBLS are gummies, or chews, that are equivalent to a dose of a tincture, a strong cup of herbal tea, or some capsules. Theyre a marriage between functional food and herbal remedies. A snack medicine or treat with benefits. Nerve Less is the first flavor (honeyed lavender tarragon) and includes my favorite herbs for daytime stress and anxiety relief, which so many folks come to me for help resolving. In the near future, well announce the next flavor – okay flavor s. :) -- And a last, fun one: what are your three favorite plants for the spring season and why? – Nettle! Because its my bff (we grew up together) and the coolest combination of edible green, super-green plant medicine, and a natural antihistamine. – Dandelion: I love the multi-taskers and like nettle, dandelion is an edible flower and bitter green (great for digestion), and medicinal top to root. – Mimosa. The tree of happiness which blooms more in the summer than spring, but close enough. Aside from looking magical, its full of medicine – everything from antioxidants to DMT. Fun and Inspiration -- What do you do to unwind or treat yourself? Deep massages – two hours with the strongest hands I can find please! Acupuncture. Running, yoga, riding. TRAVEL. The post Self-Care Interview Series: Rachelle Robinett appeared first on Golubka Kitchen.

Spinach Salad with Baked Tofu and Carrot Ginger Dressing

April 1 2019 Meatless Monday 

This light, refreshing salad is a perfect side that can also stand on its own thanks to the protein-rich spinach and tofu. To save time, you can press the tofu and make the peanut sauce and dressing the night before for a quicker and easier prep time! This recipe comes to us from Triad to Wellness . Want more meatless recipes like this? Subscribe to our newsletter  for a weekly selection of plant-based recipes delivered right to your inbox! Serves 2 Spinach Salad 6  ounce  bag of spinach 3/­­4  cup  carrots 3/­­4  cup  edamame 3  tbsp  hemp seeds,  seeds 14  ounces  firm tofu,  drained, pressed and cut into 1″ cubes   Peanut Sauce 1/­­4  tsp  coconut oil,  olive oil can be substituted 2  garlic cloves,  minced 2  tbsp  low sodium tamari,  soy sauce or coconut aminos can be substituted 3/­­4  cup  water 1  cup  coconut milk,  canned 3/­­4  cup  coconut water 2  tbsp  red curry paste 3/­­4  cup  peanut butter,  smooth 1  tbsp  sorghum syrup,  honey can be substituted red pepper flakes,  optional   - Carrot Ginger Dressing 1/­­4  cup  olive oil 1  tsp  sesame oil 1/­­4  cup  white vinegar 2  tbsp  white miso,  white chickpea miso can be substituted 1  tbsp  tahini 2  medium carrots,  peeled and chopped 1  inch long  piece fresh ginger,  peeled and cut into circles 1  tsp  sorghum syrup,  honey can be substituted 1/­­4  tsp  salt 1/­­4  tsp  white pepper   Preheat oven to 400? F. To drain and press tofu, roll tofu in a clean dish towel and place on a clean plate. Cover tofu with the flat side of another plate. Stack three heavy books on top of plate and set aside to allow liquid to drain from the tofu for at least 15 minutes. (This step can be prepped the night before.) To make peanut sauce, heat coconut oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add garlic, sauté until lightly browned. Whisk in tamari, water, coconut milk, and coconut water. Add curry paste and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in peanut butter and sorghum syrup, bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes if desired. Remove from heat. Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes. Place tofu cubes in a single layer on a lined baking sheet pan with parchment paper. Bake until firm, approximately 20 minutes. Remove tofu from oven, baste tofu with 1/­­4 cup peanut sauce, set aside. In a high-speed blender add all of the ingredients for the carrot-ginger dressing, blend until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing for at least 15 minutes so the flavors meld. In a medium salad bowl, toss together spinach, carrots, edamame, 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, remaining peanut sauce, basted tofu, and 6 tablespoons of carrot ginger dressing in a large bowl. Sprinkle the top of salad with 1 tablespoons hemp seeds. The post Spinach Salad with Baked Tofu and Carrot Ginger Dressing appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Impossible Meatless Kefta with Tamarind Chutney

March 11 2019 Meatless Monday 

Plant-based meat replaces lamb in this flavorful meatless take on traditional Moroccan Kefta. This recipe comes to us from Chef Patricia Washuta, Director of Culinary Services, Executive Chef, and Certified Dietary Manager, at Gentry Park Orlando . Chef Washuta cooked it for the Meatless Monday Rapid Fire Challenge at the 2019 International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York. Chef’s note: This is a vegan and gluten free dish. I use a little Quinoa flour to help keep the Kefta to bind when making a large batch.   Serves 4 - Ingredients - 16 oz. Impossible Burger(R) (or Beyond Burger(R)) - 1 tablespoon coriander mint chutney (recipe below) -  1/­­4 cup tamarind date chutney (recipe below)   - Coriander Mint Chutney - 1/­­8 cup fresh mint* - 2 cups cilantro -  1/­­4 cup onion -  1/­­2 teaspoon toasted coriander seeds - 1 tablespoon fresh crushed garlic - 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger - 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice - 2-3 tablespoon water or as needed to make the chutney of a pesto consistency - 1 teaspoon cumin seeds toasted - 1 Tablespoons diced jalape?o - Salt and pepper to taste - *Use up to 1/­­2 cup, depending on your preference for mint in savory dishes.   - Tamarind Date Chutney - 1/­­2 cup tamarind paste - 1 cup dates pitted - 1 cup apple juice - 2 c water or vegetable stock -  1/­­2 teaspoon cumin - 1 Tablespoon Garam Masala -  1/­­2 teaspoon chili powder -  1/­­2 teaspoon coriander -  1/­­2 teaspoon fresh ground ginger - 1 teaspoon fresh crushed garlic - 1 teaspoon salt - 1/­­4 cup coconut milk solids - 1 teaspoon Coconut oil   - Carrot Achar - 1 pound carrots - 1 Tablespoon whole cardamom pods - 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorn - 1 each cinnamon stick - 3 each bay leaves -  1/­­2 teaspoon mustard seeds -  1/­­2 teaspoon coriander seeds -  1/­­2 cup Late Harvest Riesling Vinegar (or sweet vinegar) - 1 cup water -  1/­­4 cup honey -  1/­­4 cup white vinegar - 1 whole cucumber   Instructions 1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. 2. Mix defrosted Impossible Burger(R) or Beyond Burger(R) with one tablespoon of the mint chutney (see below). Roll the mixture into round keftas (oblong meatballs). 3. Place keftas on greased on a baking sheet, and bake at 375° F for 8-10 minutes. 4. Serve with tamarind chutney (see below. 5. Plate with carrot achar (see below).   Coriander Mint Chutney 1. Toast coriander seeds. 2. Cut the stems away from the cilantro and discard stems. 3. Pull the mint from the stems. 4. Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until consistency of pesto. 5. Add a small amount of water to gain the consistency desired.   Tamarind Date Chutney 1. In a saucepan, heat the coconut oil and add spices, garlic, ginger, apple juice, water/­­vegetable stock, dates, and tamarind paste. 2. Cook on a low heat, stirring constantly. 3. Remove from heat and strain the paste through a fine screen to remove any unwanted tamarind seed debris. 4. Add the coconut solids or a small amount of coconut milk. 5. Season with salt to taste.   Carrot Achar 1. Peel carrots and use a mandolin to cut into long thin strips. 2. Lightly toast the spices in a dry pan over medium heat. 3. Wrap the spices in a cheese cloth to create a spice sachet. 4. Mix water, sugar, salt, and vinegar. 5. Add the spice sachet and bring the mixture up to a simmer. 6. Before the mixture starts to boil, remove from heat and add the fresh carrots. 7. Let stand for 1 hour. 8. Place in a container and chill. 9. Leave the spice sachet in the liquid for best flavor. The post Impossible Meatless Kefta with Tamarind Chutney appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Balsamic Basil Watermelon Antipasto

June 30 2020 VegKitchen 

Balsamic Basil Watermelon Antipasto This recipe for Balsamic Basil Watermelon Antipasto is perfect for summer. Freshen up any backyard barbecue with these tasty appetizers. We’re all looking for simple yet healthy dishes, and this antipasto fits the bill. The post Balsamic Basil Watermelon Antipasto appeared first on VegKitchen.

The Spring Supper Salad

April 23 2020 My New Roots 

The Spring Supper Salad Greetings, friends! For fun I am resurrecting one of the blog posts I wrote back in 2010 – a warm butter bean salad bowl, garlic-roasted carrots and wild rice. Why I am re-publishing a decade-old recipe? Well, for one I thought that there are a bunch of new followers around here who have never even seen this delight (hello, by the way)! Second, most of you who have been here since the beginning may have forgotten about it. Third, its the ideal pantry staple recipe. And lastly, because its very, very delicious. Creamy butter beans, golden garlic-y carrots coins, chewy wild rice, crisp and bright pickled onions, silky kale, and refreshing dill, all coming together with a lick-your-lips mustardy dressing that is divine on just about everything – this salad and beyond. I’ve also re-named it the Spring Supper Salad because it’s the perfect seasonal transition meal (yea baby, it’s definitely a meal) incorporating both winter and spring produce and flavours, as we make our way into the light of the upswing! Hooray! This recipe brings back so many memories for me. It was around this time that I had been working in restaurants in Copenhagen for about 3 years. I loved my job, and could hardly believe that someone actually paid me to spend all day in a hot, cramped kitchen, cooking a dozen new dishes every day without a menu or recipes – definitely still in the honeymoon phase. I felt confident in the food I was making, applying my deep understanding of nutrition to recipe development, and I used every day to push myself creatively, keenly aware of how fast I was learning and growing. I was certainly in the vortex, and it was a very exciting time of my life.  I started my shift around 8 am, and the majority of my dishes needed to be ready at 12 noon when we opened the doors for lunch. This is a relatively short window of time to pump out 200 servings of anything, but after some years, I developed short cuts that would deliver a lot of flavour in a hurry. One of these short cuts, was garlic oil – the first thing I would make after tying my apron strings, that would act as a marinade, a roasting medium, and a base for soups, stews, dressings and sauces for the entire day. In fact, I dont think that there were many dishes coming off of my station that didnt have garlic in them back then (such an easy way to make things taste good!). This oil sat on my bench and it got tossed into all the things, and all the people kept coming back for more.  One thing I loved using the garlic oil on, was winter veggies. I could toss them in said liquid gold, crank up the oven, and in half an hour, Id have a blistered, glistening pile of roasted rainbow roots to serve, only needing a squeeze of lemon juice and a smattering of fresh herbs to make it presentable. Who wouldnt want to dive into that?! Plus, it was cheap. Like most restaurants, we were always looking at the bottom line and how we could make even the most humble foods taste exquisite. Garlic oil was the ticket.  At the restaurant, my signature move was combining veggies, grains, and beans in exciting ways (which was very novel at the time!) so this dish emerged from a commercial ovens worth of garlic-roasted carrots needing a home. With some tender and creamy butter beans coming off the stove, and some day-old, steamed wild rice calling out to me from the fridge, this combination came together very organically, taking the varied textures, colours, and flavours into consideration.  The secret to this dish is the consistency of the garlic in the oil. Different from mincing garlic and adding it to oil, here you must must must grate it or blend it up together so it becomes almost paste-like. This way, the garlic goes everywhere the oil does, and evenly caramelizes into the most divine, delectable gold, thats mellow and sweet and roast-y. You will not hate it. Stop! Fiber time. Fiber is probably the least sexy and alluring of all the nutrients we hear about. Its all about Protein! Fat! And if you hear about carbohydrates, its probably something ignorant and unfair (I really hate jerks picking on macronutrients, back off!). Fiber seems pretty boring and something only your grandmother cares about, so why do you need to?   One reason that plant-rich diets are so health-sustaining, is not only due to their high fiber content, but their potential for fiber diversity. In the past, fiber has been broken down into two main categories: soluble and insoluble. Whats new and exciting in this field of research, is that we can see that fiber can be broken down into several more categories (viscous, non-viscous, non-starch polysaccharides, resistant starches etc.) each one bringing forth the potential for diversified food sources for our gut bacteria. In short, the greater the diversity of plants we eat, the greater the diversity of our microbiome.  Why does this matter? Because our gut is the foundation for our overall health. If weve got a wide range of troops on the front lines of our immune system, the better our chances are for not just surviving, but thriving. The fiber we eat also feeds our good bacteria, and specific types of fiber feed specific types of bacteria. Enjoy eating the widest variety of plants you can, to ensure that youre supporting the widest variety of good guys in your digestive system. They will repay you in spades Im tellin ya!  The foods with the highest amounts of fiber are beans and lentils, vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts and seeds (remember that there is no fiber in animal-based foods). Different proportions of soluble, insoluble fiber, as well as viscous /­­ non-viscous fiber, and fermentable fiber can be found in all of these food groups, it is highly recommended that you eat from each of them. And instead of focusing on grams (the minimum daily recommended intake is a measly 25g, not that were talking about that…), we need to focus on diversity. Enjoy as many plant-based foods as you can, and experience the terrain of your body slowly begin to change. Everything comes back to the gut, and not just what you are eating, but what your gut-bacteria are eating too. With this dish, youll be feeding those good guys with fiber from six different plants! Talk about a solid mix. Beans, whole grains, 3 different veggies, plus herbs, add up to serious fiber diversity. Good, good, good fiberations! The fun thing about revisiting this recipe, was seeing if there was anything I would change this time around. I have learned so much and grown incredibly as a cook in the past ten years, so I was surprised that I didnt have many tweaks to make. The only two things I felt this salad needed was a dark leafy green and a pickle – classic Sarah B moves at this point! Since we still dont have any spring greens happening yet, I decided kale was the winner, and obviously it needed to be massaged! I turned the red onions in the original recipe into a quick pickle, as this is another indispensable kitchen technique that Ive learned since posting the first time around. This salad-meal has everything you need and crave from a single bowl: its super flavourful and filling, with all of the textures in the mix to satisfy your noshing desires. The elements can all be made separately, even on separate days, if it seems like too many things to cook at once for a single dish. If you go the rollover route, boil the beans and rice a day or so before (and make extra while youre at it, because meal prep is for winners), and pickle the onions up to a week ahead. The kale can be prepped /­­ massaged a day or so in advance, but the carrots should be roasted right before serving.  If you dont have butter beans, any white bean would work (navy, cannellini, Great Northern, or baby lima beans are some varieties) and if you want to switch up the grain, any kind of rice would work – even millet or quinoa would be delicious! Instead of carrots, use any root veg you have kicking around your crisper: beets, sweet potato, turnip, or winter squash would taste great in the garlic oil. And if dill isnt the herb of your dreams, try substituting it with flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, basil, or tarragon.      Print recipe     Butter Bean, Wild Rice, and Garlic-Roasted Carrot Salad Serves 6-8 Ingredients: 1/­­2 cup wild rice 1 cup dried butter beans 4-5 medium carrots 4 cloves garlic 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 bunch fresh dill sea salt freshly ground black pepper a handful of quick-pickled red onion (recipe follows) 1 batch massaged kale (recipe follows) Dressing: 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard 1 Tbsp. maple syrup 2 Tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil pinch of sea salt Directions: 1. Soak beans for 8 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse well and cover with fresh water. Add a teaspoon of sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until beans are soft - about 45 minutes. 2. While the beans are cooking, rinse the wild rice well, drain, and put in a pot. Cover rice with 1.5 cups fresh water, add a couple pinches of sea salt, bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer. Cook until rice is chewy-tender - about 45 minutes. You will know the rice is done when the grains open up to reveal their purple-gray inner portion. 3. Preheat the oven to 400F. While the rice is cooking, wash the carrots and slice them on the diagonal into coins, place on a baking sheet. Grate the garlic with a microplane and combine it with the oil. Pour over carrots and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt. Place in the oven and roast, turning them a few times over the course of 15-20 minutes. The carrots should be cooked but not mushy - al dente! 4. Make the dressing by combining all ingredients together, shake well. 5. Now all the elements come together: Drain and rinse beans in cool water to stop the cooking process. Pour dressing over warm beans and toss. Let sit for 5 minutes or so. Drain the rice if any water remains, cool slightly. Mix with beans. Toss in the carrots, scraping the pan to add garlic oil to the remainder of the ingredients. Throw in the massaged kale, as many pickled onions as you fancy, and an explosion of dill. Cracked black pepper too, if it’s calling to you. 6. Serve immediately and enjoy. Quick-Pickled Red Onion Ingredients: 3/­­4 cup /­­ 175ml raw apple cider vinegar 1/­­2 cup /­­ 125ml water 2 tsp. fine sea salt 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced Directions: 1. Combine the vinegar, water, salt, and maple syrup in a large jar. Stir to dissolve the salt and syrup. Add the onions to the jar and put them in the fridge. Enjoy after at least 30 minutes, keeps for up to two weeks.  Massaged Kale Ingredients: 3 cups /­­ 90g shredded curly or dino kale Juice of 1/­­2 lemon 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil 2 pinches of fine sea salt, plus more as needed Directions: 1. In a large bowl, combine the shredded kale, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Using your hands, rub and squeeze the kale together as if you are giving it a massage, until the kale leaves are dark green and tender, about 2 minutes. Enjoy immediately in the salad, or store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.  I really hope you enjoy this delicious and satisfying meal soon. These days are asking so much of us, and I continue to come back to the kitchen for grounding, clarity, and connection. There are no answers, just presence. And in that presence I find myself over a cutting board, being grateful for just what is front of me, slicing a carrot, then another, saying thank you for simple things. Love to you all. Stay well and safe out there. xo, Sarah B The post The Spring Supper Salad appeared first on My New Roots.

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.

Soy and Maple-Glazed Winter Squash

January 24 2020 VegKitchen 

Soy and Maple-Glazed Winter Squash With a subtle hint of soy sauce and maple syrup, this is a simple recipe that makes roasted winter squash positively addictive. It’s a nice addition to everyday or holiday winter meals. Serves: The post Soy and Maple-Glazed Winter Squash appeared first on VegKitchen.

14 Recipes that Will Wow Your Family and Friends this Holiday Season

December 9 2019 Meatless Monday 

14 Recipes that Will Wow Your Family and Friends this Holiday SeasonTis the season to incorporate more meatless dishes into your recipe collection. Weve made a list -- and weve checked it twice -- of some of our favorite holiday appetizers, mains, side, and desserts, almost all of which are plant-based! Craving chestnuts roasting on an open fire? Try our roasted chestnut soup. Jack Frost nipping at your nose? Nothing will keep you more snug than our warming carrot cauliflower stew. Grandma got ran over by a reindeer? Well, um, weve got a great recipe for honey-vanilla poached pears. Check out our Meatless Monday holiday menu below and see how you can wow your guests with some festive and flavorful meatless meals. Appetizers Set the proper tone for the meal with these seasonal holiday appetizers: Roasted Chestnut Soup Warming Carrot Cauliflower Stew Spicy Jalape?o Cashew Cheese Dip Sides On this holiday dinner table, let the side dishes take center stage: Maple Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts Rosemarys Beets with Hazelnuts and Basil Roasted Potatoes with Orange Couscous Baked Polenta Basil Fries Mains Plant-based mains can be just as hardy and comforting as their animal-based counterparts: Meaty Mushroom Stew with Garlic Mashed Potatoes Italian White Beans with Kale Winter Harvest Citrus Pasta Chickpea Burgers with Spicy Harissa  Desserts End with something sweet (but not too sweet): Honey Vanilla Poached Pears Apple Cranberry Oatmeal Bread Baked Apple Donuts   Interested in adding some more plant-based recipes to your repertoire? Click here for more Meatless Monday inspiration. The post 14 Recipes that Will Wow Your Family and Friends this Holiday Season appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Grain-Free Autumn Fruit Crumble

October 4 2019 VegKitchen 

Grain-Free Autumn Fruit Crumble With the abundance of fall fruit and absence of grains, this dish offers a great lower-glycemic way to start your day. Add a bit more protein, and youre all set! For best results, select crisp, sweet apples, such as Gala, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady, and firm pears, such as DAnjou or Bosc. The post Grain-Free Autumn Fruit Crumble appeared first on VegKitchen.

Beet Salad with Chopped Endive and Arugula

September 9 2019 Meatless Monday 

Slices of roasted red beets with chopped endive and baby arugula dressed with orange champagne vinaigrette, topped with pistachio and garnished with honey calamansi gel and golden beet puree. This recipe comes to us from chef Mark Angelo Crisostomo , one of the finalists in the Western Foodservice Show Meatless Monday Rapid Fire Challenge. Want more meatless recipes like this? Subscribe to our newsletter  for a weekly selection of plant-based recipes delivered right to your inbox! - Beet Salad - 4-6 (1lb to 2lbs) Medium size red beets - 5 oz (4-6 cups) baby arugula, rinsed and dry - 12 oz (6-8 pieces) of Endives - 4 ounces of raw pistachio   - Orange Champagne Vinaigrette - 2 Fresh Oranges - 1 Tbsp Sugar - 1 Small Red Onion - Rough chopped - 2-3 Ounces of Champagne Vinegar - 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard - 4 -6 Ounces Oil (Avocado or Avocado Oil) - Salt and pepper to taste   - Honey Calamansi Gel - 4 ounces of Calamansi juice - 4-6 ounces of honey - Super Agar and Xanthan Gum - Steps: Blend Honey Calamansi and Agar (1% of the total volume) thoroughly and simmer it for 2-4 minutes. Pour it to a cup and place it in a fridge or ice batch until it sets then blend it again add water to thin it or xanthan gum to thicken.   - Golden Beet Puree - 2-3 (about a 1lb) Medium golden beets - 2 ounces of Red beet juice/­­water and Squeeze of lemon - Xanthan Gum (follow label instructions) - Salt to taste - Steps: Combine all ingredients in a blender and squeeze until consistency is achieved.   Steps: 1. Preheat the oven to 400?F. Wash beets and wrap each beets with foil tightly and line them up in a baking pan. Bake for an hour or until its done. Peel and cut the red beets into thin slices (use mandoline slicer for consistent slices) and dice the golden beets. 2. While beets are baking, make the vinaigrette, in a small pot add the champagne vinegar, sugar and chopped red onions and reduce into half, s and blend it. Add orange juice and Dijon mustard. Add oil slowly while blending until desired consistency is achieved. Add salt and pepper to taste. (use Xanthan Gum, if available to achieve desired consistency). 3. In a mixing bowl add the chopped endives and baby arugula and drizzle vinaigrette. On a plate, lay red beets slice and top it with the Endives, Arugula and Pistachios. Add honey calamansi gel and beet puree around the plate. Be creative. The post Beet Salad with Chopped Endive and Arugula appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Honey Tofu Skewers

July 3 2019 Oh My Veggies 

Crispy, sweet tofu skewers on the BBQ! Even the family member who doesnt love tofu will love this recipe!    

Japonica Rice Salad

April 8 2019 Meatless Monday 

Deliciously chewy Japonica rice gets a serious upgrade with roasted vegetables, creamy halloumi cheese and a just-right preserved lemon vinaigrette. The colorful side makes for a satisfying snack on its own and the perfect base for a grain bowl. This recipe was created by Jill Fergus in partnership with Think Rice and The FeedFeed . 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 - 1 cup U.S. Black Japonica Rice - 1 cup roasted zucchini, seeded (cut lengthwise into four strips, then crosswise in 1 increments) - 1 cup 1/­­2 cubed honey nut squash - 1 sweet red pepper, seeds removed, sliced - 1 cup cauliflower rosettes - 4 oz halloumi, pan seared until golden on each side - Two 1/­­4 cups olive oil - Leaf parsley, finely chopped - Flaky sea salt - Fresh ground pepper   1. Preheat Oven to 425 degrees. 2. Prepare rice per package or rice cooker instructions. I like add a generous pinch of salt and a tsp of olive oil to the cooking water. 3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Separately, toss each vegetable in olive oil and arrange on baking sheet. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook in 20 increments, removing each vegetable as its cooked to your liking. 4. Whisk remaining 1/­­4 cup of olive oil with 2 tsp preserved lemon paste (or 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice), chopped parsley, flaky sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Adjust acid to suit your taste. 5. When all ingredients have come to room temp or are still slightly warm, toss together and add Vinaigrette. Serve and enjoy! The post Japonica Rice Salad appeared first on Meatless Monday.

Bali Butter

March 12 2019 My New Roots 

Bali Butter I miss Bali. Or maybe I just miss the warmth, the sun, the vibrancy, the life bursting forth from every nook and cranny. I miss living outside, I miss my eyes being assaulted by colours, and layers upon layers of wild sounds, but hey, its March in Ontario and this is a familiar feeling. Are you feeling it too? A couple weeks ago when I was in the depths of yet another snowstorm, feeling like spring may never come, I came up with this recipe to remedy my winter woes. Its called Bali Butter - and its the most delicious thing to cross my lips since I could see grass outside my window. A rich combination of cashews, coconut, and cacao, blended together with coconut sugar and salt, its like the nut butter of DREAMS in all of its salty-sweet-crunchy-chocolatey glory. And I am really excited to share this one with you, wherever you and no matter what season youre experiencing. What does one do with Bali Butter, you ask? Let me tell you, it goes on all. the. things. Pancakes, waffles, smoothie bowls, toast, rice cakes, ice cream, fruit salad, porridge, yogurt, and fingers! You can stuff dates with Bali Butter, stick them in the fridge and have something delicious on hand to satisfy those salty-sweet-fat cravings too. Slice a banana lengthwise, slather Bali Butter in the middle and sandwich it together again. I even like it with carrot sticks. No joke. I chose to use coconut sugar in my Bali Butter because its one of the main sweeteners used on the island and you can easily find it everywhere. Some of you may be curious about using liquid sweetener as an alternative, but the problem with using something like maple syrup or honey, is that it causes the nut butter to seize up. Fat is hydrophobic (translation: its afraid of water) and will stiffen when it comes into contact with anything that contains it. Using a solid sweetener, like coconut sugar, avoids this problem and keeps the finished product relaxed and runny. If you dont want to use coconut sugar and you dont mind a less-spreadable version of Bali Butter, sweeten it with whatever you have on hand. I think Ive talked about all of these ingredients respectively, but for the heck of it, lets recap why theyre awesome! Coconut - Once a maligned food for its saturated fat content, coconut has taken center stage in the wellness world, as scientific research has confirmed that the type of fat in coconut integrates differently in the body, compared to other saturated fats. MCTs (medium-chain-triglycerides) are a type of fat that can be broken down quickly and used as fuel, instead of being stored, so its prefect for people who enjoy an active lifestyle. Coconut also contains a surprising amount of protein, about 14% by weight, and impressive amounts of manganese.   Cashews - Contrary to popular belief, cashews have a lower fat content than most nuts. And 66% of their fats are heart-healthy, monounsaturated fats, like those found in olive oil. Cashews are an excellent source of copper, and a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. They also contain good amounts of fiber, so that they keep you feeling full for longer.  Cacao - One of the best sources of magnesium found in nature, in addition to containing high amounts calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulfur, and potassium, cacao is a nutritional powerhouse. It also contains many chemical compounds that enhance physical and mental well-being, including alkaloids, proteins, magnesium, beta-carotene, leucine, linoleic acid, lipase, lysine, and some neurotransmitters such as dopamine and anandamide - which explains why eating chocolate makes you feel so darn good! Coconut sugar - Sometimes called coconut palm sugar, this incredibly delicious sweetener is high in minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron. It is happily low glycemic, ranking 35 on the GI scale, compared to agave at 42, honey at 55, cane sugar at 68. This is due to coconut sugars composition of long-chain saccharides, which are absorbed by the body at a slower rate than something like refined white sugar. Coconut sugar also contains amino acids, which are thought to slow down the rate at which the sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, acting as a buffer of sorts.  Some notes on the recipe. Its very important that you make coconut butter to start, as it creates the liquid base to help the get the cashews going in the food processor. Once youve made the coconut-cashew butter, feel free to stop there (it tastes incredible on its own), or go all the way as I have and add the cacao, coconut sugar and salt. I like to leave my Bali Butter out of the fridge, since it remains liquid and spreadable at room temperature. If you refrigerate it, Bali Butter with harden completely. You can roll it into balls and make yourself some pretty delicious little energy bites when its in this state, but its impossible to drizzle when chilled.   If youre into smooth nut butters, simply leave the cacao nibs out of the equation. They arent necessary for any other purpose than crunch, which I personally feel is essential, but I wont judge anyone for skipping them. Even though youre obviously crazy     Print recipe     Bali Butter  Makes 3 cups /­­ 750ml Ingredients: 3 cups /­­ 375g raw cashews 3 cups /­­ 240g unsweetened desiccated coconut   3/­­4 tsp. large flake sea salt (I used Maldon) 1/­­4 cup /­­ 23g raw cacao powder 3 Tbsp. coconut sugar 3 Tbsp. cacao nibs seeds from 1 vanilla bean Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 325°F /­­ 160°C. Spread cashews out evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the preheated oven. Toast for about 10 minutes, keeping an eye on them so that they dont burn! Remove from oven and let cool. 2. While the cashews are in the oven, toast the coconut in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until slightly golden. Remove from heat and set aside. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may want to work in batches. 3. Place the coconut in a food processor. Blend on high, scraping down the sides every so often, until the coconut is creamy and smooth (this make take up to 10 minutes, depending on the strength of your food processor - be patient!). 4. Add the cashews to the food processor and blend on high until creamy and smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend on high. Taste and adjust saltiness /­­ sweetness /­­ chocolate levels to suit your taste. 5. Store Bali Butter in an airtight glass container at room temperature (out of the fridge) for one month. The post Bali Butter appeared first on My New Roots.

Vegetable Congee

February 4 2019 Meatless Monday 

Vegetable congee can be eaten any time of the day or year, but it’s particularly enjoyable as a warm and comforting breakfast. This recipe is nourishing, delicious and easy to make. Its a perfect recipe to make on a slow morning, or make it the night before and simply reheat it in the morning.   This recipe comes to us from Tina Jui of The Worktop . Find the original Vegetable Congee Recipe  and additional photos on The Worktop.   Serves 4 1  cup  brown short grain rice 4  cups  vegetable broth  (water also works) 1  small knob  ginger 1/­­2  cup  dried sliced shiitake mushrooms 1/­­2  cup  dried mixed mushrooms  (such as a mixture of porcini, charcoal bumer, honey fungus, black trumpet and chanterelle)  1  small  sweet potato 1  small bunch  collard greens (or other dark leafy greens such as kale, chard or cabbage)  (about 2 cups when cut)   Rinse the rice well and drain. In a large pot, add the rice, vegetable stock or water, and ginger. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally. As the rice is cooking, in a large bowl, soak the dried mushrooms in 4 cups of warm water. Set aside. Peel and cut the sweet potato into 1-inch cubes. Set aside. Wash and cut the collard greens into 1-inch strips, removing any tough stalks. Set aside. When the congee has been cooking for 45 minutes, and the mushrooms are fully rehydrated, add the mushrooms into the congee. Slowly pour in the soaking liquid, discarding the last bits of liquid where any dirt and grit may have accumulated. Stir in the sweet potatoes. Cover and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, for another 30 minutes. After 30 minutes have passed, stir in the collard greens. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes. At this point, the rice grains should have fully softened and absorbed most of the water. If the congee is too watery, simmer without the covering the pot to allow some steam to escape for the last 15 minutes. If the congee is too thick, you can add additional water as needed. Serve warm with desired toppings, such as kimchi, green onions, a splash of soy sauce and a bit of hot chili oil. PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE. You can make this congee the night before, cover and store in the refrigerator. Alternatively, enjoy some congee for dinner, and have the leftovers in the morning. Simply heat up the congee in the morning before serving. The post Vegetable Congee appeared first on Meatless Monday.


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