Monthly Archives: February 2015

Pumpkin Vindaloo Pasta

Processed with VSCOcam

A few days ago I took a venture in to Leslieville, a neighbourhood I’ve admittedly never known too much about. I always knew Leslieville as the place where the hipsters in the East end lived. Anyway, I was there with my friend Drew to buy some yarn and learn to knit. I’m happy to say that the whole learning-to-knit thing went quite well. Of course, I found myself continually distracted by the shop next door, a cute little market called Raise the Root. I explained to Drew, I have a bit of a problem with independent markets. By “a problem with” I mean “a problem with staying away from them.”

When I went in, I was lucky enough to see a demonstration from a local Toronto food business, Good Food For Good. I think it’s not only really important to support local businesses, you find things you wouldn’t normally be able to find anywhere else. It didn’t take a lot of convincing for me to take home a jar of the Vindaloo sauce.

Of course, I couldn’t just make a standard stir-fry with this. Being me, I had to do something different.

I love a good pasta, so I thought, “How can I incorporate this into pasta without seeming too weird?”

I give you, Pumpkin Vindaloo Pasta — it’s sweet, it’s smoky, it’s tangy. You can add any veggies you like to this (I bet it would be good with some shredded carrots), but I went for my classic, tomatoes and spinach.

Pumpkin Vindaloo Pasta, serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup penne or other small pasta (I used a gluten-free brand)
  • 1 whole tomato
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp Vindaloo sauce (more if you’re really into spicy!)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 cup spinach
  • Sunflower seeds, shelled

Instructions

  1. Warm the olive oil in a large nonstick pan on low heat. Add the chopped garlic and the tomato, also chopped (I kept it in large wedges). Let this simmer on low for about 15 minutes to get really soft and fragrant.
  2. Cook the pasta according to directions. Before it’s finished, ladle out about 1/3 cup of the pasta water.
  3. Mix the sauce — add the pumpkin puree, garam masala, allspice, nutritional yeast, cilantro and vindaloo sauce and mix thoroughly. It will still be very pasty, but worry not!
  4. Once the pasta is finished, add it to the pan and mix in the pumpkin sauce. Gently add your pasta water to make it a little more sauce-like and coat the pasta.
  5. Add in your spinach and cover the pasta for a few minutes. Once the spinach is wilted, it’s ready to serve.
  6. Top with sunflower seeds and whatever else you like — though honestly, this dish doesn’t need many other flavours!

This dish turned out to be such a wonderful, unique, smokey flavour! You’d never expect that from sweet, pure pumpkin. What’s your favourite unconventional pumpkin dish?


Perfect gluten-free chocolate chip cookies

Processed with VSCOcamIt always makes my day when I go to a coffee shop and they have vegan treats — more so when they don’t just have a single treat, but they have multiple vegan selections to choose from! That’s why I love Broadview Espresso at Broadview and Danforth — I can either have a vegan brownie, a vegan blondie, OR one of THREE “shockingly healthy” cookies.

I’m a chocolate chip fan. You know, there’s just something about chocolate chip that’s familiar and comforting. And it could be any kind of chocolate chip — chewy, crunchy, melty, even a chocolate chip cookie that’s a week old is better than no chocolate chip cookie at all.

Know what I’m saying?

Anyway, I realized recently that I could dupe the shockingly healthy cookies at home going off a basic non-vegan, yes-gluten chocolate chip cookie recipe. The result? They don’t taste exactly the same, because I used a few different ingredients, but they’re a chewier texture, so that’s a BIG win!

I will start off by saying that because of the use of coconut oil, these cookies are a tad high-maintenance — which is only fair because the recipe itself is really easy (I didn’t even have to go out to buy anything — I literally had everything at home). Coconut oil, as we all know, hardens when cold and liquifies when warm. This means that I actually had a bit of a mess on my hands. And yet, as you can see, the cookies still turned out! So here’s a very clear step-by-step set of instructions that I really, really hope you pay attention to.

Perfect gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, makes 8 medium cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened but not melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar, sucanat or organic brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup organic white sugar
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax+3 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 cup almonds, processed into a meal
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, processed into a flour (or, for a nut-free option, use an entire cup of rolled oats processed into a flour and omit the almonds)
  • 2 tbsp rolled oats left whole
  • 1/3-1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand)

Instructions

  1. Warm the coconut oil slightly by sitting the jar in some warm water. I actually ended up warming it too much to the point of liquifying it, so I just poured out my 1/2 cup and put it in the fridge for about 5 minutes — the texture was like soft butter.
  2. Mix the coconut oil and the two sugars. Crush with a fork or a masher until everything is well-incorporated and there are no “chunks” of coconut oil.
  3. Add in your almond/oat flour mixture and your 2 tablespoons of whole oats.
  4. Pour in the flax egg and mix until all is incorporated.
  5. Fold in your chocolate chips.
  6. This is the first really tricky part. You’ll need to let this mixture sit and get a little harder before you bake. The problem is, if it gets too hard, it’ll be like slicing into a hockey puck and dividing the cookies will be very difficult. Cover the mixture (not the bowl, smack that plastic wrap right on the mixture) and let refrigerate for max 20 minutes. I let mine refrigerate for closer to 60 minutes and it ended up being really hard, but I WAS able to slice into it and shape my cookies without too much trouble, so it’s not the end of the world if you leave them in too long.
  7. Now this is the second tricky part. While the mixture is chilling, preheat your oven to 325. Remove the mixture and shape into eight cookies. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place your cookies on, and bake for 12 minutes.
  8. After you take them out, the coconut oil will have expanded and YOU WILL PROBABLY HAVE A GIANT TRAY OF COOKIE MUTANTS MELTING INTO EACH OTHER LIKE I DID. This wasn’t actually too difficult to fix. Using a butter knife, while the cookies are still hot, push them back to a smaller form and then leave them alone for about half an hour. The cookies will harden in a much more sensible shape.
  9. (Or do like I did and leave them alone on your balcony in the winter).
  10. If you choose to not do that, once they are a bit more solid (they will still be a little melty), transfer to a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more. When you bring ’em out? PERFECT COOKIES.

I realize that this seems like a lot of work for, well, cookies. But trust me, it’s worth it. You’ll have your own little café-worthy vegan cookies. <3


Coco-Kiwi breakfast parfait

Processed with VSCOcam

It feels like smoothies have ruled my life for the past few months. Becoming a part-time “food blogger” has made me live my life almost to a parody degree, including homemade, colourful, veggie-based dishes, a wonderfully minimalist beauty routine and smoothies, smoothies, smoothies!

Anyway, I felt a need for something different a few days ago. My current smoothie routine has seemingly run out of steam. I’m looking forward to when the sun creeps out full-time and I’m inspired by the flowers and the colours to create something new and cool.

But in the meantime? This proved to be a pretty sweet alternative.

It’s quite similar to my chocolate mousse parfait from Christmas. The differences? This one’s thicker, it’s coconutty, and, of course, KIWI.

This one actually requires to be made ahead if you really want it to get thick by sitting in the fridge overnight. I find the peanut butter in this helps to take the edge off the tofu taste, so if you’re one of those people who still wigs out at the idea of sweet tofu, you’re in luck. The flavours develop even more strongly overnight.

Coco-Kiwi breakfast parfait, serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 small brick silken tofu (my bricks were about 6-8 oz), cubed
  • 2 tbsp young coconut flesh — I got mine straight from the source, but if you don’t feel like struggling with chopping open a coconut, you can buy coconuts pre-sliced
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut nectar, maple syrup or other liquid sweetener
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 kiwi, skinned and sliced into small rounds
  • Shredded coconut
  • Granola of your choice (I used Jordan’s Morning Crisp chocolate granola)

Instructions

Like I said, prepare all this several hours ahead (or overnight, since this is totally a breakfast thing).

  1. First, if you’re chopping open a coconut, do so with a trusting loved one nearby and watch out for your fingers. Let’s just say I learned this the hard way. I’m okay though.
  2. Cube your silken tofu so it blends more easily and scrape the coconut flesh out, adding to the blender.
  3. Add in your liquid sweetener and blend to liquify.
  4. Once the mixture appears pureed, add in the cocoa, peanut butter and chia seeds.
  5. Now get ready to layer! I added in the coconut-tofu liquid, then a few slices of kiwi, a dusting of coconut, granola, and then repeated.
  6. Take your time eating this. Truly appreciate the beauty. OMG. And keep it away from your cat.

Colourful Veggie Gnocchi

Processed with VSCOcamI’d never tried gnocchi before I was 22. Scratch that. I didn’t even know what gnocchi was before I was 22. No, wait. I had never even heard the word “gnocchi” before I was 22. My friend Chantel was working at a restaurant on campus and she gave me a free order of gnocchi. I had no idea what it was, but it sounded awesome (as in, the word itself was really fun to say), so I was like, “okay!”

I’m not sure what’s more fun about gnocchi — the fact that it’s beautiful, pillowy little potatoes of goodness, or that the word is so fun to say.

Anyway, I’m still working up the courage to make my own gnocchi, but in the meantime, I’ve been developing a few great gnocchi recipes. See, the thing about eating vegan and loving pasta is that it’s hard to find anything nice and thick that sits heavy and long in my belly making me feel totally full for several hours without adding some sorta faux-meat, which is why gnocchi is my number one favourite pasta right now.

Processed with VSCOcamThis dish is definitely one that would be more suited for summer, but like my various smoothie creations, I can’t help but debut it right now in hopes that it will bring a beautiful summer sky. I happened to make this last Sunday, when it took myself and my partner several hours and lots of crying to get my car boosted because it was so cold outside. And yet, we had a ton of fun cooking this up and even enjoyed it with a few (maple) whiskey sours!

Processed with VSCOcamColourful Veggie Gnocchi, serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 5oo g pack of gnocchi (or make your own). I used a gluten-free brand.
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 cup chopped cauliflower florets (you really don’t have to use coloured cauliflower, I just thought it looked neat and it was on sale)
  • 1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup spinach
  • Nutritional yeast, to personal desire
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Warm 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large nonstick pan on very low heat. Add the garlic and tomatoes and let sautee gently for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized saucepan with a steamer attachment, bring about 2″ of water to a boil and steam the cauliflower and broccoli. This should take about 10 minutes. Once it’s done, drain it in a colander.
  3. Now cook the gnocchi. Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the gnocchi — once it starts floating, it should only need a few more minutes.
  4. Once that’s cooking, chop your remaining veggies.
  5. After 15 minutes of sautéeing, add the onions and parsley to the pan and raise the heat slightly.
  6. Add the broccoli and cauliflower to the pan.
  7. Finally, add your gnocchi to the pan and add the spinach. Toss the veggies together and remove from heat once the spinach is wilted.
  8. Sprinkle on salt and pepper and nutritional yeast to your liking and enjoy with someone you love. Or a cat. Yeah, a cat.

I Love My City: Grassroots

11112_10152558612152827_4653180284829085976_nFor those of you who don’t know, I grew up in a small town — Kapuskasing, Ontario — and lived there until midway through Grade 5. From then on, I lived in slightly larger places, Timmins, ON and North Bay, ON. Moving to Waterloo for school was undoubtedly the first exposure I had to a city where I was blessed with the gift of choice — I didn’t have to settle for the one grocery store or buy my clothes from one of the ten chain places in the mall. I visited my first farmer’s market, learned the value of supporting independent shops, and realized how good it felt to buy local. I’m certain that these revelations were what helped me decide to go vegan. Now that I’m living in Toronto, there’s even more choice with what I do, what I buy, who I support.

That’s why I’ve decided to start this series, I Love My City. Because, well, I love my city! The greatest thing about it is that no matter how long you live here, you can discover something new every day — a cool store you never knew existed, a cafe run by someone really nice, a clothing brand you suddenly fall in love with.

This week, I’m featuring Grassroots

Located at the corner of Danforth and Chester, Grassroots fits perfectly into the eclectic and open-hearted neighbourhood that is the Danforth. While I always knew of its presence, I first really discovered Grassroots when I was attending a yoga class at Moksha Yoga Danforth, which happens to be on top of Grassroots. While doing an exercise on our bellies, I turned my ear to the ground and could faintly hear one of my favourite songs playing in the store downstairs. After class, I thought, “Hey, they play good music, there’s gotta be something cool in there!”

I discovered a world.

Processed with VSCOcamNow, I’m used to eco stores that tend to have a singular focus. They’re either all about big things, like furniture and clothes, or they’re a world of tiny trinkets — accessories, travel mugs, cleaning products.

The amazing thing about Grassroots is that it’s bursting with both, from everyday useful little things like razors made from recycled yogourt cups and Klean Kanteens, you can also, you know, buy a bed.

Processed with VSCOcam“I think I own one of everything we sell here,” said store manager Magenta Suzanne. “Except a bed.”

Some of the great things you’ll find (besides of course the razors and Klean Kanteens) include eco staples like Dr. Bronner’s, Solar Boaters lanters and a variety of indoor gardening kits. Basically, the place is a huge collection of practical things that you never realized could make a difference like, say, chic reusable lunch bags. There’s also a ton of kid and baby-friendly items, so it’s a great place to go to find a unique gift for someone.

When I went in to get a good look at the store for the blog, Magenta explained to me that Grassroots isn’t just a place to sell eco products, it’s a hub for education. “If you need information on, say, why a natural bed is better than a conventional bed, we can provide that. There are all these layers of knowledge that we provide.”

Processed with VSCOcamMagenta’s journey with Grassroots unfolded in a real dream-like way. “I started as a customer here,” she said. “They just happened to need someone when I needed a job.” So how did she find the fit in to Grassroots and its environment? It seems like she got the idea right off the bat.

“I want the environment here to be really welcoming and I just want people to feel good when they come in here,” she said. “My thing is, when you come in here, you should just be able to come in here and totally relax. Because as an employee, you want to come back.”

Processed with VSCOcamWhen we talked products, Magenta revealed that she’s a huge tea geek, while I was still fascinated with my new yogourt cup razor (seriously the first time I’ve been able to find a razor that is not sold by a large corporation). It was then that she informed me that they also sell a razor sharpening block. “You’ll seriously keep your blades fresh for months,” she said. Looks like I’ve got another thing to purchase next time I go back.

As I checked out, I contemplated buying a pair of earbuds made from recycled wood (I decided against it, only because my current earbuds are only a month old and these will always be there) and Magenta’s super-sweet co-worker offered me a vegan shortbread cookie. I haven’t tasted shortbread in years, so it was a beautiful, amazing moment. They also told me about a few great places I should check out for my next segment, and I’m happy to say that next week I’ll be featuring Freedom Clothing Collective!

At its core, Grassroots is all about education — not just selling you something, but helping you walk away with knowledge and inspiration.

Grassroots is located at 372 Danforth Avenue and can be found on Facebook, or you can check out their website.


Coffee shop-style chocolate chai smoothie

Processed with VSCOcamIt took me a really long time to get into any kind of specialty coffees, teas, lattés, etc. I wasn’t allowed to drink coffee until I was old enough to drive (“what else do you need to be that awake for?”) and by the time I was old enough, it didn’t seem appealing to me. I’d only ever have coffee when I had a sore throat. As for tea, I did fall in love with it in university, but I never really liked milky tea lattés.

Once in awhile they were a nice treat for me — I do love a good London Fog. Once in awhile. But my favourite became the Starbucks Chocolate Chai latté a couple years ago. Unfortunately, a) it wasn’t that popular and no one bought it, and b) turns out, the chocolate chai concentrate is made with honey.

Boo, right?

Well, I think I cracked the code with this totally nommin’ chocolate chai smoothie. This is definitely more of a “treat” smoothie than a totally nutritious smoothie, but I did toss some hemp seeds in there for thickness and nutritional value.

And who says smoothies can’t be fun?

The thing about this smoothie is that it’s definitely a make-ahead affair. Making the tea concentrate cubes will make about 2-3 smoothies worth in a standard ice cube tray, so the good news is you’re prepped for a whole bunch of smoothies. Or you could blend them into some sort of iced latté. Or something.

Chocolate chai smoothie, makes one

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tbsp avocado
  • 1 tbsp brown rice syrup or blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tbsp ripe avocado (optional — helps add thickness)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp hemp hearts or chia seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • A dash of ground cloves
  • 4 tea concentrate cubes*

Instructions

  1. Make the tea concentrate cubes ahead of time
  2. Blend all the ingredients together in a high-speed blender

*Tea concentrate cubes (makes 12 cubes, enough for 3 smoothies)

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 6-8 bags of black tea (I used a cheap English breakfast tea. Make sure all ingredients are vegan friendly as some fancy black teas from places like David’s Tea contain milk ingredients)

Instructions

  1. Add the water into a medium-sized pan and submerge the tea bags
  2. Bring to a boil on high heat
  3. Once the water is boiling, reduce heat and let sit for 4-6 minutes
  4. Pour the tea into an ice cube tray

This was a huge success and I’m really excited to try applying it to other smoothies. Perhaps a green tea and spinach smoothie is due! Anyway, happy Family Day! I’ll be celebrating with my Lucy (the cat!) and my climbing family.


Raw chocolate crunchy cups!

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetMy whole childhood, I would wait in that profound patience only a truly convicted and passionate child can conjure up for Christmas — but not for the gifts. Yeah, I liked gifts (what kid doesn’t?) but my actual favourite part of Christmas was the craft shows.

Growing up in a small town, Christmas didn’t mean going to see The Nutcracker (even by a local dance studio — we actually didn’t have any dance studios in my childhood hometown). It didn’t mean seeing a choir perform the Messiah. It didn’t even really mean nice lights downtown (because Kasuskasing, Ontario’s “downtown” is a single street. A circular street). But anyone who’s grown up in a small, rural town knows the unadulterated joy of seasonal craft shows in a church basement.

Rarely would I ever actually walk away with anything, and my mother wouldn’t either. But if nothing else, it was worth it because of the homemade peanut butter cups and peanut butter balls.

As much as Little Me firmly believed that these peanut butter cups and balls were SO much better than Reese’s, I never asked my Mom if we could make them ourselves. My Mom’s never been much of a baker, and we were fine to leave the work up to the peanut butter professionals.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetBut last week, pretty much on impulse, I leaped at the opportunity.

Why? Because I had all the ingredients, and I had the time.

Of course, I couldn’t just leave well enough alone and keep it simple. Instead of making peanut butter cups, I made peanut-butter-coconut-chia-cups. Welly well then. I’m just going to call them “chocolate crunchy cups.”

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetIt might seem high-concept, but the total recipe only took about 20 minutes, with additional freezing time.

Raw chocolate crunch cups, makes 6 large cups or a dozen mini cups

Ingredients

Chocolate coating:

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of fine-grain sea salt

Filling:

  • 1/3 cup smooth peanut or almond butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp brown rice syrup

Instructions

  1. Warm the coconut oil by submerging the jar in a large bowl or pot of hot water.
  2. Mix the cocoa powder, coconut oil and brown rice syrup, stirring to combine.
  3. Line a muffin tray with muffin papers. Pour about a tablespoon of the chocolate mixture onto the surface of each paper.
  4. Freeze for about 20 minutes.
  5. Mix the peanut butter mixture while the cups are freezing.
  6. Remove the tray from the freezer and spoon 1/6 of the peanut butter mixture onto the surface. Try to keep it from going too close to the edge.
  7. Pour the remainder of the chocolate mixture on each cup.
  8. Freeze for 90 minutes or overnight like I did. Keep these in the fridge or freezer — coconut oil chocolate tends to get really drippy.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset  I ate one for breakfast. That’s all you need to know about these.


Easy crusted tofu nuggets

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

My family’s go-to meal when we were children was chicken fingers. I was a really, really picky child, and we were usually pressed for time in some way or another. What is it about picky eaters and chicken fingers? We just love those things, man.

I’m proud to say I have moved on from chicken fingers (obviously) and don’t even really crave unchicken that often (and when I do, you know where to find me — at the Hogtown Vegan!) but sometimes I do love a good crunch.

Not the cool, fresh crunch of a cucumber or a carrot. Although those sound pretty great right now. Mmm.

But no! I’ll save those for the sides. This is a grown-up take on nuggets (or you could do them in fingers or sticks). They’re not overly battery, but they sure do provide a good crunch. The best thing is you can still serve this with a nice “grown-up” side dish like some steamed veggies, a bit of rice — holy crap, that’s one easy, classy meal you’ve got there! If you’re wondering what’s on top of them in that picture, that’s a bit of my cilantro pesto that I made this week.

But onto the recipe!

Easy crusted tofu nuggets, makes 3 medium servings

Ingredients

  • One brick extra firm tofu, drained and cut into small cubes or sticks
  • 1/3 cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried orregano
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Press the tofu using either a tofu press or some clean kitchen towels with a great deal of weight on it. Don’t press it quite as much as you normally would — only about 10 minutes. Some moisture will let the coating stick more.*
  2. Warm a cast iron pan on medium heat with a light-tasting oil with a high smoke point, such as coconut oil, almond or canola oil — if you don’t have a cast iron, a regular pan will do, but you won’t quite get that seered, charred texture.
  3. Prepare your dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Cut your tofu into cubes or strips and toss into the bowl. Toss it around to coat.
  5. Add to the tofu to the pan and let cook for about 10 minutes. Keep tossing and agitating the tofu so that it doesn’t stick, especially crucial in a cast iron pan.

That’s your tofu nuggets for ya — give it a try! Cornmeal is a nice and cheap but versatile coating, it’s gluten-free and adds such a nice, neutral crunch. What’s your favourite comfort food? What do you like to enjoy your nuggets with? Let me know in the comments!


Hydration station green smoothie

Processed with VSCOcamI keep telling myself that the weather is going to warm up soon.

I. Keep. Telling. Myself.

Honestly, everyone is getting to a point of major bum-out with this weather, but I’m starting to settle into a groove with it. The snow is getting sticky (snowballs! Yay!), my body is used to the temperature now, and my snow tires are actually proving to be a decent investment.

It’s enough to keep my chin up until spring rears its muddy, pungent head.

In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying my earlier and earlier sunrises over the Danforth at yoga classes, getting my butt to ballet, lead climbing several nights a week — holy crap, I’m busy! And I’m also eating well. I have no idea how I’m managing to do all of this, but having a supportive partner who loves to cook is a huge plus.

This smoothie is one I have been taking with me to yoga with pride and enthusiasm every morning. Just looking at its bright green colour makes me want to put an umbrella in it. I’m legitimately convinced that it’s making summer come faster! Okay, I’ll stop talkin’ nonsense now.

Hydration station green smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup spinach or kale
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 medium English cucumber, peeled and ends removed
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp coconut nectar or other liquid sweetener (optional — I like a sweeter smoothie)
  • 1 tbsp flax seed meal
  • 2 ice cubes

Chop all ingredients and add to a blender, running that thing until it’s all smooth. Gulp it down, you crazy clown!


The ultimate vegan gluten-free pancakes

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

I am definitely more of a savoury breakfast girl when it comes down to it. Give me hashbrowns, scrambles, toast and avocado, yum! But vegan pancakes are my jam — it seems even when they’re done poorly, vegan pancakes go down easy.

But trust me, these are done very, very well.

I’ve really got a handle on gluten-free cooking these days. I was really worried it wouldn’t work out well at first, but I’ve really gotten a handle on it. It’s all about learning which flours go best with which tastes, never forgetting your xantan gum and paying attention to your texture (if it doesn’t look good when you’re mixing it, it surely won’t look good in the end).

I’ve never been much of a syrup eater — I enjoy my pancakes with PB & J, or bananas! What can I say? I’m a trendsetter.

I whipped up this recipe for my cabin weekend with the Dude, but it didn’t work out so well. The batter was great, but the cabin’s cookware wasn’t the best — everything took a long time to heat up and was really, really sticky! Good thing I made a double batch, because these were just as good a few days later on the griddle at home. Yum!

Sweet-ass vegan pancakes (gluten-free!), serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sorghum flour
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp tapioca or potato starch
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp canola oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed meal in 6 tbsp of room-temp water, stirred in a bowl and let sit for at least 5 minutes
  • 1/4 cup organic sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (less if you’re not a fan, because you WILL taste this much)
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • Pinch of fine-grain sea salt

Directions

  1. Combine the flax meal and water to make the “flax egg” and let sit
  2. Combine the flour, starch, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, xanthan gum and salt in a large bowl and whisk until fully combined
  3. Combine milk, vinegar, oil and vanilla in a bowl and stir
  4. Add the liquids to the solid, stir it up, and incorporate the flax egg
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips
  6. Warm a bit of light-tasting oil over medium heat and grill ’em up!
  7. This yields about 8 medium-sized pancakes, so enough to feed a hungry small party.