If you live in a climate where there’s cold and long winters (lucky me) you’ve probably realized that it becomes tricky to eat fresh local produce especially since the majority of it isn’t in season. This doesn’t mean that you have to completely switch to eating only carrots, onions, and potatoes; there are other fruit and veggies that are nutrient-dense and readily available over the winter season. Sometimes it just takes a little investigating and creativity. Here are some foods that you should be consuming this winter! Cabbage, brussel sprouts, squash, potatoes, onions, beets, celeriac, carrots, turnips, parsnips, sweet potatoes, radicchio, pomegranates, dark leafy greens (kale or collard greens), and fennel.
Here is a delicious salad/slaw recipe that will not have you missing your lettuce!
On another note, I’m so excited and so grateful that my best friend and photographer is back from traveling in Thailand for the past month and a half! In the mean time I’ve been making do with the resources and knowledge that I have, but my recipe shoots just haven’t been the same without her. I definitely appreciate her photography and taste testing expertise! I find once you’re used to doing something a particular way or you have a set of standards it’s difficult to backtrack… Call me a creature of habit or one with high standards and expectations.. I’m proud of myself though for putting my ego aside and lowering my photography standards to do what I could while she was away. I mean, what was I to do? Put my blog on hold for a month and a half?!
Equipment: food processor
Yield: 5 c
- 3 c brussel sprouts (ends removed)
- 1/2 c slivered almonds
- 1/2 c dried cranberries
- 1/4 c grape seed oil
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 3 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- pepper to taste
- Dressing: Whisk together the grape seed oil, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, and garlic
- Using a food processor, pulse the brussel sprouts until shredded. You may need to do this in two batches depending on the size of your food processor
- In a large serving bowl mix the brussel sprouts, slivered almonds, dried cranberries, and dressing
Today I had the pleasure of spreading vegan love, it was awesome! I was invited to be a guest speaker in my brother’s grade 10 civics and careers class, where they’ve each had to bring in someone who has experienced success in some way. Although I don’t have career success at the moment, I sure do know a thing or two about accomplishing the least expected and at one time the seemingly impossible; going vegan and writing a recipe blog! I was so honoured to share my story and my perspective of success, which is to set goals and work towards them, no matter how unrealistic they may seem in that moment. Having the opportunity to share my blog and talk about my vegan lifestyle with young people is amazing. I’ll take any chance I get to spread my knowledge, passion, and influential light on a young person’s life. This was my well deserved lunch after all of the presentations I’ve had to do this week. Have you tried kelp noodles?? They’re AMAZING! They’re raw, nice and light, they take on whatever flavours you’re cooking with, and they’re perfect for throwing in salads. Try them (available at your local health food store)!!
Ingredients (As much as you’d like for your salad)
- kelp noodles
- romaine lettuce, chopped
- red pepper, thinly sliced
- carrot, washed and peeled
- brocoli, chopped
Peanut Sauce (Yield: 2-3 servings)
- 1 tomato, halved
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 c natural peanut butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp cilantro, finely chopped
*Note: This sauce is super mild due to my low spice tolerance. Feel free to throw in some chili pepper or other spices!
- In a food processor, combine the tomato and garlic. Puree until liquid
- In a small pot at medium heat; add the peanut butter, olive oil, tamari, sesame oil, lime juice, cilantro, and tomato puree. Whisk continuously until smooth and heated
- Toss all of your salad ingredients with the peanut sauce
It’s my favourite time of year! Farmers’ markets are booming and grocery stores are stocked with colourful and local produce. However, it can be overwhelming because we end up with an abundance of beautiful veggies but don’t always know what to do with them! My rule of thumb: When in doubt, bake!! I coated the veggies in a balsamic and maple marinade for extra flavour and added black beans and pumpkin seeds for protein and iron. Talk about a hearty meal! The thing to remember when picking up local harvest is to check whether or not it’s coming from an organic farm. It’s great if you’re supporting your local farmers but are they still using pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides? At least remember the dirty dozen and buy these organic!!
-peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, kale, lettuce, grapes, pears, carrots
*Feel free to roast more or less veggies. This is just to give you an idea. I had enough veggies for a few days.
- 1 squash of your choice (I used buttercup), chopped
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 potato, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 4 beets, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 c cauliflower, chopped
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 c pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
- 1/4 tsp pink sea salt
- Preheat oven at 375. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
- In a measuring cup mix the olive oil, 2 tbsp of the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, rosemary, and salt
- Place the chopped veggies in a large bowl and add the olive oil mixture. Stir until everything is coated
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Flip veggies
- Bake for another 20 minutes or until veggies are of your desired crispiness
- Transfer cooked veggies back into the large bowl and stir in black beans, pumpkin seeds, and the remaining 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
- Eat on their own or on a bed of greens!
Happy Monday!! I can’t believe there’s only 2 weeks left of summer until school starts!! This summer seemed to fly by incredibly fast. Looking back it makes sense as I was working full-time, taking 3 classes, working on my blog/ebook, getting together with friends and family, and trying to enjoy the beautiful weather.. But then again, when am I not that busy! With school and fall just around the corner I’m working on recipes that are great for lunches and snacks on the-run, healthy breakfast options, and quick dinner ideas so stay tuned! For now, I have a salad idea that would be great for final summer BBQs or simply a light dinner! As bulgur wheat in traditional tabouli is not gluten-free this is a great alternative that is just as tasty. Don’t worry about the cauliflower being too overpowering. All of the herbs and garlic mask the cauliflower pretty well. I threw in a can of chickpeas (which is not in traditional tabouli) for protein and to make it more filling.
*Tip: This recipe makes enough tabouli to feed an army. It’s great for BBQ’s or family get-togethers! Divide the recipe in half if you don’t want left overs for days!
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into large pieces
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
- 1 c cucumber, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1/4 c fresh mint, chopped
- 3/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Put the chopped cauliflower into a food processor. Pulse until the cauliflower has been chopped into small, grain-like pieces (the cauliflower is replacing bulgur wheat so you want it to be fine)
- In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic
- Transfer the cauliflower into a large bowl and mix with the remaining ingredients. Add the dressing and mix well.
- Refrigerate until ready to eat!
Summer = BBQ’s and potlucks! It also means the typical salsa and chips, caesar salad, potato salad, and brownies… Not that there’s anything wrong with those foods in moderation, it just makes it a little trickier for people following a vegan and gluten-free lifestyle. We had a potluck at the office last week and my salad was a hit! Although most people typically go for quick and easy at potlucks and BBQ’s (which isn’t necessarily the healthiest) people were grateful to see “healthy” food available. I literally made this salad at 10:00 the night before and it took me no more than 15 minutes. I would highly suggest it for any get together. The beautiful colours in this salad scream summer to me!
- 1 stalk of kale, chopped (stem removed)
- 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can of corn, drained
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1/4c red onion, chopped
- 1/3c fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Combine all ingredients together