Mango coconut quinoa

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This dish is so simple and easy yet tasty beyond belief. It has it all – chewy, crunchy, savoury, sweet and loaded with nutrients to fuel you through the day. It’s also one of my favourite lunches to tote to work.

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 mango – peeled and diced

1 red pepper – diced

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

½ cup fresh or frozen edamame (let the edamame thaw if you use frozen)

1/3 cup almond slivers toasted

1/3 cup diced onion (red onion makes for a prettier salad)

The zest of two limes

¼ cup balsamic vinegar*

2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

MangoQuinoaSaladClose.jpgDirections

Rinse and cook the quinoa in 2 cups of water. When the quinoa is cooked, fluff it with a fork and let it cool. You can do this step ahead of time – even the day before.

Toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl. I like to let the dish sit for an hour in the fridge to let the flavours blend before serving.

Makes 4 meal-size servings.

*I have a coconut balsamic vinegar that I used in this recipe. If you’re into flavoured vinegars, this is a great dish to experiment with some of the different flavours.

Avocado pasta – creamy, garlicky, lemony and delicious

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This pasta surprised me with its simplicity and deliciousness. It’s easy to make, no fail and will be ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta.

Make this. That’s all I can say. Just make this.

You will need a food processor for this recipe.

Ingredients

1 avocado

The juice and zest of ½ a lemon

1-2 cloves garlic

A handful fresh basil leaves –about ½ cup

1 cup of fresh kale or spinach leaves

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

¼ cup pistachios (optional)

10 ounces of uncooked pasta – any shape or kind

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Directions

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, place all the other ingredients in a food processor and whiz until you have a creamy sauce. You might need to add up to 2 tablespoons water to get a creamy consistency. The more you whiz the sauce, the smoother it will be. Spinach also makes a smoother sauce than kale.

Place the hot, cooked pasta in a large bowl and spoon the sauce over it. Toss to blend and serve. This recipe makes 2-3 servings.

If you have leftovers, this dish is great at room temperature as a cold pasta salad.

 

Chickpea and avocado spread – simply delicious!

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Various friends on Facebook have been sharing this recipe video over and over, so I decided to give it a go for myself. It just seemed too easy and too plain. Boy was I wrong. It’s simple and simply delicious!

My only change was to add Frank’s hot sauce to the mix and to put the salt and pepper right in the food processor. Otherwise, I made this dish just as shown. Here’s the recipe again:

Ingredients

15 oz can chickpeas drained and rinsed

1 avocado

The juice of ½ a lemon

Salt and pepper to taste (I used about ¼ tsp each)

1 Tbsp Frank’s hot sauce (optional).

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Directions

Place everything in a food processor and mix until everything is smoothly combined. Serve on bread or in a wrap or on crackers. Here’s mine wrapped in an Afghani flat bread with spinach, tomato and cucumbers. SO GOOD.

And that’s a wrap!

 

 

 

Hasselback apples – apple, caramel and a nutty crunch.

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A couple years ago, everyone was making hasselback potatoes. Now it’s hasselback apples. This is my vegan version.

So what’s a hasselback? It refers to slicing a potato or in this case apple in thin slices almost all the way through but not quite. The final effect reminds me of a little hedgehog or armadillo.

This hasselback potato.pngis a hasselback potato – you can see how it’s sliced, ready to impress.

We’re going to do the same thing to an apple, then drizzle it with a delicious sauce that turns into caramel as it bakes. Oh yeah.

Hasselback apples look fancy schmancy but they’re really just an apple cobbler all dressed up for a party.

I’m giving you the proportions for one apple and you can easily scale up the recipe from there.

Ingredients

1 apple – I used a yellow delicious.

1½ Tbsp vegan margarine

1 ½ Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp flour

1 Tbsp rolled oats

1 Tbsp chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds (optional). I used chopped pecans.

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Directions

Heat your oven to 400F.

Peel the apple and cut it in half. Carefully remove the core; if you have a melon baller, that’s an ideal tool to use. You want the apple half to remain intact. Place the apple half cut side down and slice ¼ inch wide slices into the apple almost all the way through but not quite. You should be able to fan the slices open, but not have the apple fall apart.* Repeat with the second apple.

Grease a small oven-safe dish and place the hasselbacked apple halves into the dish.

Melt ½ tablespoon margarine with 1 tablespoon brown sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Spoon this mixture evenly over the apple halves.

Cover and bake the halves for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, mix the remaining ingredients together to create a streusel crumble mixture. After the apples have baked for 10 minutes, spoon this mixture evenly onto the apples. You can try to get the mixture down between the slices, but it’s not necessary.

Bake for another 10 minutes uncovered.

Serve each hasselback apple with the now carmelized brown sugar-cinnamon sauce spooned over top. Seriously – all that stuff that’s in the bottom of the baking dish, scoop it up and put it back on the apple and eat it.

Serve the apples with vegan ice cream – I’m a huge fan of So Delicious (cashew-based) brand – and a drizzle of maple syrup.

*Oh oh! I sliced too far. My apple fell apart. Now what? Not to worry. Just break the apple up into chunks and bake it in a ramekin. It will be a mini-cobbler instead of a hasselback and just as delicious either way!

 

Iron-lady lentil burgers with mustard sauce

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I love lentils. I love burgers. I love mustard. I HAD to try this recipe – especially because it was just weird enough to work. The original recipe is from One Green Planet. I have modified both the ingredients and the process to amp up the flavour and nutrients and simplify the cooking (because I am lazy).

I’m calling these iron-lady lentil burgers because between the spinach, lentils and raisins you have one fibre, protein and iron-rich meal.

There is something about these burgers that makes me think they a) would make excellent sliders and b) would be a favourite with children. The patties are super even textured and have just a hint of sweetness.

You will need a food processor for this recipe.

Ingredients

The mustard sauce

3 Tbsp prepared yellow mustard

4 Tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp dry mustard

½ tsp curry powder

The burgers

1 cup of uncooked lentils. I used Du Puys lentils because they cook in just 15 minutes.

1 carrot – cleaned and cut into rough chunks

1/3 cup raisins (any type)

½ cup walnut pieces

½ cup rolled oats

¼ cup bread crumbs (or just use ¾ cup rolled oats or ¾ cup breadcrumbs – whatever you prefer)

1 cup fresh spinach leaves

2 Tbsp of the mustard sauce

1 tsp salt

A few grinds of black pepper

1 tsp hot sauce (optional)

1-2 Tbsp water

Directions

Cook the lentils according to package directions – typically 2 cups of water for 1 cup of dry lentils.

Pre-heat your oven to 400F.

Prepare the mustard sauce by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl or jar (you end up with about ½ cup of sauce).

Put all the burger ingredients in a food processor and process until you have a very smooth mixture. I ended up with a rather large and dry ball of patty mix so I added the 2 Tbsp of water to make the mix a bit more malleable.

Divide the patty mixture into four equal portions. Shape into patties and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes and flip the patties, then bake for another 5-10 minutes (depending on your oven).

Serve with the mustard sauce. I topped mine with tomato, lettuce and pickled onions. These burgers would be ridiculously delicious on a pretzel bun!