Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Veggie Burger and Broccoli Salad

 Sometimes you go ALL out for meals. Making the main feature and the sides.


 Although there were only two components to this meal I feel like we went all out. I'll count the dressing for the broccoli salad as a separate component so... make that three components ;)


I think everyone was very satisfied after this meal. It is truly one of those feel good meals that satisfies hunger and nourishes the body.


Oh, a slice of pickle makes every veggie burger a stunner! Just love the tang and the crunch. The pretzel bun (store-bought) is not mandatory but it sure does taste fantastic with the veggie burger - that's coming from a pretzel lover though.

Maple Chipotle Sweet Potato Burger
Adapted from Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes 

Ingredients

1/4 dry millet + 3/4 cup water
1 large or (2) small sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed and steamed (about 2 cups worth)
1 cup of baby Bella mushrooms, quartered
2 dates, pitted
1 chipotle pepper
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried cilantro, 2 tsp if using fresh
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 cup wheat germ (GFO - gf oats)
1 tbsp Pepita's
Directions
Peel, cube and steam sweet potatoes.
In a small sauce pan bring water to a boil, add millet, cover and cook for 15 minutes until water is absorbed and millet is cooked through - remove from heat and cool. Preheat oven to 350.
In a food processor fitted with an S blade, process sweet potato, mushrooms, dates, chipotle pepper until mushrooms are finely diced.
in a medium bowl add sweet potato mix, cooked millet and remaining ingredients - lime through Pepita's and mix well. divide the mixture into 4 even mounds. form each mound into a patty and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Place baking sheet in oven. Cook burgers for around 25 minutes or until browned - make sure to flip burgers half way through baking.


Broccoli Salad
Adapted from Rawmazing 

Dressing
1 C Cashews, soaked at least 2 hours
Juice from 1 1/2 lemons
2 T Oil
1/4 C Water
1 shallot (2 T chopped)
1 clove garlic
2 T Agave
1/2 T Mustard Powder
Pinch Sea Salt

Combine all ingredients in vitamix or magic bullet. Mix until silky smooth.

Salad
6 C Chopped Broccoli
1/2 Red Onion, medium, chopped
1 C Craisins
1 C Sunflower Seeds

Mix together broccoli, craisins, onion, and sunflower seeds. Top with dressing and combine until well coated.
 






Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fresh Mixed Veggie Salad

There's something so refreshing about raw veggies. They rarely need to be dressed but when looking for a simple yet delicious dish for any occasion lightly dressed veg is the way to go.


 A little seasoning and some feta cheese is all you need to amp up the flavour of naturally wonderful veggies.


This dish tastes equally delicious without cheese!


Don't you just want to get all up in here with a fork, spoon, or heck your hands?!

The recipe is basically non-existent and really up to you!

You'll need
- an assortment of veggies - the number depends on how many you're serving
- salt
- pepper
- olive oil
- feta cheese (optional)

Chop up the vegetables and season to your liking!


 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday

Happy Summer!! hehe. Today is the first official day of summer (or will be at least some time today)!

And I thought what better way to celebrate than by showing pictures of Spring flowers! Yay! LOL

Here's a look back at the season that has just passed and well wishes for the season that is upon us!




Creeping on a creepy spider.



A really interesting bug on a leaf of the snowball bush.

A peony and a bee doing its thang.




Chocolate Chip Cookies with Coconut Oil


These are delicious cookies! We substituted coconut oil in place of the butter. Something I am completely in favour of. The coconut flavour is subtle but definitely adds a sweetness or some delicious quality to cookies. hehe.


The ground almonds in these cookies provide a nice nuttiness that is also subtle but takes these chocolate cookies to the next level. The level of awesomeness.


We sort of went overboard with the quantity of chocolate chip but they were all melting so nicely when we took them out of the oven that I forgot to be upset :) And you can never have too many chocolate chips, right?


This recipe makes quite a lot of cookies so if you're in need of a cookie recipe for a bake sale or feel like going to town on some chocolate chip cookies, here's your recipe!


The recipe is supposedly "healthy" although I'm not sure how, I'll take it!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Faux Martha
makes about 3 dozen
5 ounces of dark chocolate chips
1 c. whole wheat  flour
1/2 c. unbleached AP flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (finely ground)
1/2 c. walnuts (finely ground)
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
*we substituted coconut oil
1 c. cane sugar
1 tbsp. honey
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. turbinado
1 tsp. cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Melt butter in preheating oven (or microwave) and let cool for about 15 minutes.
3. Whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in bowl.
4. In food processor, finely grind oats, and add to flour mixture.
5. In food processor, finely grind walnuts, and add to flour mixture.
6. Whisk in sugar, honey, egg, and vanilla extract into butter mixture until sugar is dissolved and all ingredients combined.
7. Pour butter mixture into flour mixture, and mix until just combined. (Dough will be somewhat dry.)
8. Mix in chocolate chips.
9. Scoop cookies with a spring release scoop or roll in ball by hand. Roll cookies in turbinado and cinnamon mixture and place on silpat or parchment paper lined pan. Do not flatten.
10. Bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Individual Cherry Crisps


Delicious, super fast, comforting, and a scrumptious way to showcase the cherries of the season!


Individual Cherry Crisps

adapted from Buttered Up

You'll need (per bowl/ramekin):
5 to 7 pitted cherries
1 heaped tablespoon of all purpose flour
5-7 crushed almonds
1.5 tablespoons of rolled oats
1.5 tablespoons of brown sugar
A pinch of salt
1 tsp of water
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 tablespoon of cold butter
Extra butter/oil for greasing

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Grease each bowl or ramekin. I didn't have enough cherries to fill my bigger ramekins. Throw in your cherries into the serving/baking dish. Combine all your dry ingredients and mix them. Add the cold butter and mix it into the dry ingredients. It'll stick to everything and become... crumbly! Add the dry, buttery mixture to the cherries and bake for 20-25 minutes. 


Seriously, a speedy method for satisfying a hankering for fruit crisp.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Fluffy Pancakes


Whenever we make that delectable breakfast food known as pancakes, it seems we always end up with rather dense albeit tasty pancakes. But we had yet to produce a light, fluffy pancake batter until we came across this recipe.


We have avoided using buttermilk in the past for pancakes, selecting more health-conscious recipes however this past Sunday was the fated day we tried the often highly regarded liquid and I have to say I can't foresee us returning to our pancake recipes sans buttermilk.


I have to admit that using buttermilk creates that true pancake that dreams are made of. Haha well, of course Martha would conceive such a recipe!


Buttermilk Pancakes (the original recipe calls for blueberries but we stuck with straight regular pancakes)
adapted from Martha Stewart via Dreamy Dish
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 teaspoon for the griddle

Heat electric griddle to 375° or a stove-top griddle over medium-high heat.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl.  Add eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons butter; whisk to combine.  Batter should have small to medium lumps.
Heat over to 175°. Using a pastry brush, brush 1/2 teaspoon of butter onto griddle.
Using a 4-ounce ladle (and 1/2 cup), pour pancake batter onto griddle, about 2 inches from each other.  
When pancakes have bubbles on top, and are slightly dry around the edges (about 2 1/2 minutes), flip.  Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.
Repeat with remaining batter, keeping finished pancakes on a heatproof plate in the oven.  







Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday

It's always nice to have something to distract you from studies, or work, or whatever may be plaguing you. Here are few youtube channels and websites I like to peruse:

Sprinkle of Glitter - Louise who is the face of Sprinkle of Glitter and is hilarious! I love to watch her videos on youtube. I feel like somewhat of a voyeur but I thoroughly enjoy watching :P Plus she has an adorable baby!

sunbeamsjess - has great makeup tutorials that aren't too involved - great for a quick fix. Although her fashion taste doesn't always coincide with mine I still enjoy watching her videos on fashion hauls.

Kandee Johnson - I don't read her blog very often but I think I may have watched almost every single videos on youtube. Kandee Johnson has a wonderful personality and is such a talented makeup artist - her videos are a joy to watch.

Nasty Gal - I pretty much want every single item of clothing and type of shoe on this site! I have yet to purchase something from Nasty Gal as it's basically way out of my price range, considering the additional cost of shipping. Sigh. I can always dream and that's what I do... along with drool.

There you have it. The sites and youtube channels I use when I am procrastinating, bored, or need some inspiration. Enjoy!

And because this post seemed utterly boring without any pictures, here's just one of the items from Nasty Gal that I love.







Thursday, June 7, 2012

Roasted Veg Israeli Couscous


Today Caitlin was looking up the implications of the zodiac symbol on your health (the things you do!) and interestingly enough both of our signs are supposedly best suited for vegetarian diets (much to my pleasure and my nan's distress. haha)


This is a DELICIOUS dish for anyone, vegetarian or otherwise!
 Roasted vegetables are so perfect. The roasted cherry tomatoes become amazingly sweet candy while the zucchini and eggplant develop a buttery sweetness.

The peppers are a nice touch, too. 


All the veg is elevated to a super fantastic side dish, or meal, when paired with Israeli couscous.

It is equally tasty with or without the feta cheese on top!



Roasted Vegetable Israeli Couscous
 recipe adapted from Take a Megabite

Ingredients:
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 bell pepper
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 3 T olive oil + 1 T for frying pan
  • salt + pepper
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous, uncooked
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • feta cheese, crumbled
Directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with foil. Wash and slice your eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds. Cover each slice (top and bottom) with a generous amount of salt. Place a paper towel on a plate, top with salted eggplant, layer with another paper towel and then continue with eggplant and finish with paper towel. Place a heavy object on top to press down on the eggplant and get the bitterness out and into the towels. Let the eggplant sit for 20 minutes, then wash off the salt and chop into bite size pieces.
  2. Chop the zucchini, bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes into bite size pieces. Toss vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet in as much of a single layer as possible. Roast in the oven for 60 minutes, tossing half-way through cook-time.
  3. In a frying pan, heat olive oil and onion for 2 minutes on medium-low heat. Add the uncooked couscous and toast for 3 minutes. Add broth and stir. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until soft and chewy, but not overcooked. The broth should be mostly evaporated.
  4. Toss the couscous with the vegetables. Sprinkle with cheese to your liking.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Chocolate Chocolate Cookies





MMmmmm chocolate cookies. There's something very comforting about a decadent chocolate cookie with a tall glass of milk. I could pretty much go for that right about now considering the rather blustery weather we've been experiencing today. Damp, rainy, and very windy!! Quite a change from the beautifully warm weather that we have had recently. Oh well, best stay in with my cookies and enjoy!


Vegan double chocolate cookies 

 Recipe from lemonpi


1 cup vegetable oil (we put a little less in at 3/4 cup)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce (we used about 2/3 cup)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Combine the oil, sugar, apple sauce, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla in a bowl. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. The cookie dough will be quite wet at this stage. Chill it for about 15 mins or long enough for the dough to be scooped and rolled into balls.
Preheat the oven to 160′C (325F). Scoop walnut sized portions of cookie dough, roll each into a ball and arrange them on lined baking trays, leaving an inch of space between each ball of dough to allow for spreading. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cookies feel soft but not raw in the middle. Once cool, they will be crisp on the edges and slightly chewy in the center. Just the way chocolate cookies should be.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Gluten Free Brownies


 We always like to try a different take on a classic recipe, just for kicks, for the sake of trying something different, to shake things up. And that's exactly what we did with these gluten-free brownies.


 Neither one of us is allergic to gluten (thank goodness! what would I do without the odd, or frequent indulgence, of crusty white bread?!) but when it comes to brownies we like test all the options out there.



These brownies were deliciously chocolaty, which is always a plus. They had a nice crust with good chew. These are more of thin brownie but none the less delicious!

Decadent Gluten Free Vegan Brownies  

Recipe from The Veg Mom

Ingredients: 3/4 cup Rice Flour Blend
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Thai kitchen full fat coconut cream (The thick part scooped out of the top of an unshaken can of coconut milk)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

Directions: 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 8" square brownie pan.
2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. Whisk together the coconut cream, vegetable oil, sugar and vanilla.
4. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Pour into your prepared pan — make sure the mixture is distributed evenly to the edges of the pan. Bake 15 minutes if you like really gooey brownies, 20 minutes if you want them to be a bit firmer — the top will be set, but a tester should still have a bit of fudgy goo instead of set crumbs.
7. Remove from the oven, let cool. And enjoy!

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