Protein Smoothies

Peaches a

This weekend, I braved the cold and made my way to the St. Lawrence Market. If you’ve never been before, I seriously suggest you go. On Saturday, you can visit the farmers market to pick up all your fruits and veggies. In the main brick building, you’ll find 120 different vendors selling produce, meats and fish, and a variety of foods. Your taste buds will thank you!

On my most recent adventure, I had some delicious oysters shucked at the fish market. My boyfriend had a chicken sandwich which looked amazing. I also grabbed some beautiful raspberries, blackberries, oranges, and lettuce. As you can tell by the pictures, everything is very bright and fresh.

 

Fresh fruits and veggies are not cheap, especially when they aren’t in season. Which brings me to my next point – it’s totally okay to use frozen foods for your smoothies.  Actually, I encourage it!

Reserve those fresh raspberries for on top of your yogurt and munch on those fresh blueberries on top of your smoothie bowl.

The smoothies have incorporated frozen fruits and different protein elements to keep you going all day. The protein will keep you feeling full for longer and you’ll get all kinds of great nutrients from the ingredients.

The peaches and cream smoothie is made with Greek yogurt. The P in PB&J is, of course, peanut butter! Carrot cake smoothie has vanilla whey protein.

Yummy and healthy recipe below.

Protein Smoothies

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Three different healthy smoothies with delicious and nutritious ingredient that keeps you moving all day!

Ingredients

    PB & J Smoothie
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats or rolled oat flour *
  • 1/2 small banana
  • Peaches and Cream Smoothie

  • 1 cup coconut dream (coconut beverage)
  • 1 cup frozen peaches**
  • 1/3 cup vanilla greek yogurt or vegan yogurt 
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Carrot Cake Smoothie

  • 1 cup shredded or matchstick carrots ***
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 serving of vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions

  1. Add the wet ingredients to your blender first, followed by everything else and blend until smooth
  2. Enjoy
  3. *If you prefer a creamy texture, pre-blend the oats to make a flour. If you like a chunkier texture, you can throw the oats in as you are blending everything else.

    **Frozen peaches taste sweeter when they are not so frozen. I will typically heat them in the microwave for 45 seconds. This way the peaches are still very cold but not completely frozen.

    *** If you have a really good blender, you can add chopped carrots directly in.


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Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

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Well, bless her heart!

You’ll definitely be familiar with that statement if you’ve spent any time in the South. What you’ll also be familiar with is the FOOD. Every Easter, I visit my family in Richmond, VA and I let myself indulge, guilt-free.

There is one particular dish we had on Monday that stuck with me: potato gratin. I’ve never had potatoes like this before. They were buttery, creamy and literally the perfect texture.

Potatoes are a little underrated. They are incredibly cheap. I’m talking about $2.50 for 5lbs of Russet Potatoes. They also have nutrients and fibre. I’m not suggesting you eat a ton because they are high in carbohydrates, but don’t be afraid of them either!

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As per usual, I felt the need to create something that is comparable in taste but wins in the calorie compartment. After a few trial and error experiments and some minor frustration, I’ve done it! And it’s vegan!

I also have a not-so-secret trick to make the top brown and crispy, a little bit of vegenaise.

Although, this recipe is a bit of work it makes a big batch. You can freeze it for later or bring it to a potluck and impress your guests.

Creamy Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: medium
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A creamy, vegan scalloped potato dish. You won't be able to tell that this is completely dairy free. Enjoy this lighter version as a side or bring to a potluck and impress your guests

Ingredients


– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
– 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
– 1 medium onion, sliced
– 5 medium Russet potatoes, washed and peeled
– 2 1/2 cups rice milk
– 1/2 cup coconut milk
– 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
– 1/4 cup Spelt flour
– 1/2 cup water
– 1 tbsp vegenaise (vegan mayonnaise)

1. Using a mandolin, slice potatoes lengthways and place in a large bowl. Cover the potatoes with water to prevent from browning.
2. Add olive oil to a dutch oven and saute onions until they are tender. Once complete, put onions on a separate plate.
3. Using the same dish, add the rice milk and coconut milk. IMPORTANT: use the thick coconut cream from the top of the can. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil stirring constantly.
4. To make the roux: mix spelt flour and water in a small cup or bowl. Add a few teaspoons of the rice/coconut milk mixture into the small bowl and stir. Once everything is combined add roux to dutch oven.
5. Add nutritional yeast and salt and pepper to taste. At this point, the mixture should be boiling steadily and starting to thicken. Stir the mixture often, until it has thickened into a cream like texture. This should take approximately 10-15 minutes.
7. Drain potatoes and add the first layer to a baking dish. Add one-third of the onions to the top of the potatoes and one-third of the sauce. Repeat with each layer but don’t add any onions to the final layer. Pour the remaining sauce and add a few teaspoons of the vegeniase.
8. Cook the potatoes for approximately 60 minutes. To crisp up the top of the potatoes, turn the heat up to 450 and cook for an extra 10 minutes.
9. Let the potatoes sit for 5-10 minutes to settle.

Simple Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

PEANUTBUTTER COOKIES

Oh, the infamous peanut butter cookie! Chewy, creamy, peanut buttery. I am a full-fledged peanut butter lover. I ate a lot of peanut butter in university. An unhealthy amount… Late night snack anyone?

Eating this much peanut butter, I can definitely tell you that you should always go for natural peanut butter. You can find it at any grocery store or even Costco! Check the ingredients, because there should only be two: peanuts and salt. That’s it!

Natural peanut butter will separate and requires stirring which can be messy. You can combat this by turning the peanut butter upside down for a couple of days. Check out Food Network’s Healthy Eats on Peanut Butter for more information on selecting your peanut butter.

I also should mention everything in moderation applies to peanut butter. Something I need to remind myself of when eating peanut butter. Part of the reason why I love these cookies is that they have a strong peanut butter taste without tons of calories and refined sugar.

acs_0008Since the dough is vegan, feel free to sample along the way. If you have an allergy to peanuts, try sunbutter, cashew butter or almond butter.

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Simple Peanut Butter Cookies

  • Servings: 18 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
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A delicious batch of vegan peanut butter cookies. This recipe is really simple but so delicious. You can take these cookies for breakfast or enjoy them as an afternoon snack!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup applesauce * try my applesauce
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. Set oven to 350 degrees Add all ingredients to a big mixing bowl
  2. Add all ingredients to a big mixing bowl, and fold ingredients until everything is well combined.
  3. Form small balls around 1/2 inch in size. The recipe yields 16-19 cookies.
  4. Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes. The cookies will be ready when the tops start to brown. Since the cookies are vegan, it’s okay if they are undercooked!
  5. Let cookies cool. This is important! Everything binds while the cookies are cooling. Wait until the cookies are completely cooled before packing them up or else the cookies will go soggy. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Applesauce

I was in the grocery store the other day, looking for applesauce to add to a vegan cookie recipe. Then it came to me – why not try and make my own applesauce? I marched over to the produce section, grabbed some delicious looking Gala apples and was on my way.

WOW! Am I ever glad that I tried out this recipe. You can find applesauce in a jar that is organic and sugar-free but homemade is just better. I was actually surprised at the different taste.

Bonus, it’s extremely simple and the amount seasoning can be adjusted based on your taste preference. I love cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. So, I’ve added them all in. I also added a splash of maple syrup. The apples are sweet enough on their own but the maple syrup adds such a delicious flavour.

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I made a small batch but you can definitely double it up and keep it in your fridge. It tastes great as a snack, or have it with your oatmeal. You can even add to your yoghurt. I’m working on a paleo apple muffin recipe using this too. Let me know what fun creations you come up with! I would love to know.

Cinnamon Applesauce

  • Servings: 2
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Deliciously sweet cinnamon applesauce. Perfect on its own or as an addition to your breakfast oatmeal. Applesauce is also great to use in vegan baking as a moistening agent.

Ingredients

  • 3 Gala Apples
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of allspice
  • 1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup

Directions

  1. Peel, cut, and core apples. You can cut the pieces roughly since it will all get mashed together!
  2. Add apples to a big pot with water and spices. Stir until everything is coated.
  3. Turn heat up to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes with a lid on. Check occasionally and give the apples a stir.
  4. Take apples off heat and add lemon juice. Depending on the level of sweetness desired, you can add a splash of maple syrup.
  5. Blend apples until you’ve reached your desired consistency. If you prefer chunky applesauce, simply mash apples with a potato peeler and skip the blending.

Warm Root Vegetable Salad

In winter, I find myself craving warm and comforting foods. I wanted something for dinner that would satisfy my need for something hearty but didn’t leave me feeling heavy after eating it. In the process, I created a salad that is meant for the winter.

There is something about baking squash and sweet potato that is just simply delicious. Trust me, it’s worth the time it takes to cube the vegetables.

I look for smaller sweet potatoes and squash to make the prep much easier.

 

Farro is used in this dish because it has a chewy texture which is perfect for salad. If you’re a little tired of quinoa (like me), farro is a great alternative. There are a number of grains worth trying out for different dishes like buckwheat, farro, or wheat-berries. Don’t be afraid to cook with different grains, you might find something you love!

As a final touch, add balsamic reduction to the veggies and farro. It has such an intense flavour and combined with the goat cheese, this salad packs a punch. Serve for dinner or pack up for lunches all week.

There you have it, a warm root vegetable salad. Tons of flavour and only a few ingredients. Enjoy!

Warm Root Vegetable Salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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This warm root vegetable salad made up of sweet potato and squash is mixed with goat cheese and a sweet balsamic reduction. A warm and healthy meal perfect for a cold winter day.

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 2 small sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups raw spinach
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 tbsp goat cheese
  • 1-2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp goat cheese
  • 1 tsp balsamic reduction

Directions

  1. Set oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cut sweet potato and squash, add to a bowl with olive oil and seasoning. Toss to coat.
  2. Add sweet potato and squash to a baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes.
  3. Cook farro according to package directions. If bought in bulk, you can use Bob’s Red Mill directions as a reference.
  4. Add the raw spinach to a bowl with the hot root vegetables and farro. Mix until the spinach starts to get soft.
  5. Add goat cheese and balsamic reduction and gently fold everything until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Greek Turkey Burgers

With all the sunshine we’ve been getting, I’ve already started thinking about BBQ season. Thinking about BBQ season so much, that we made turkey burgers on the BBQ last night. I won’t lie, it was cold out there…but definitely worth it.

These turkey burgers are simply delicious. I know turkey has a reputation for being dry but these are juicy and flavourful. Surprised? With the right ingredients, it’s the best burger around.

There are a number of fresh herbs and spices you can add to elevate the flavours of this lean turkey burger.

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Fresh basil, oregano, and feta cheese pack a punch. Quinoa flakes keep it completely gluten-free. Shredded onion, a splash of olive oil, and an egg keep the burger moist.

Just a pinch of salt and pepper, and you’ve done it!

I’ve also added a dill lemon sauce to top the final product. I love incorporating fresh herbs, can you tell? Check out the recipe below.

Once you’ve mixed the ingredients together, wet your hands. This will help prevent the meat sticking from sticking to your hands when you form the burgers. The shape doesn’t need to be perfect, but try to keep them around the same size for an even cooking time.

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I place the formed burgers on parchment paper and put them in the freezer for 30 minutes. This makes it a lot easier when cooking them on the BBQ because they hold their shape really well.

This recipe yields 9-10 delicious turkey burgers. I usually lay all the toppings out for my guests. This way everyone can pick and choose whatever they wish. Offer bibb lettuce as GF alternative to burger buns. Enjoy!

Greek Turkey Burgers

  • Servings: 9 Burgers
  • Difficulty: easy
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These delicious turkey burgers are packed with different Greek flavours like oregano and feta cheese. Use a lettuce bun for a low carb version thatis completely gluten-free and completely delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion shredded
  • 2 packs ground turkey (~350/400 grams each)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup feta
  • 1/2 chopped, packed basil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Sauce

  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup chopped dill

Directions

  1. Add quinoa flakes and water to a small bowl and let rest
  2. In a large bowl add ground turkey, shredded onion, egg, feta, basil and olive oil
  3. Once quinoa flakes have absorbed the water (1-2 minutes), add to the large bowl. Mix ingredients until just combined. Note: it’s easiest to mix and form ingredients with your hands.
  4. Form the patties on parchment paper to prevent sticking. If you have time, place the burgers on parchment paper in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. The mix should create 9-10 burgers. The burgers may look large, but they will shrink down when cooking.
  5. While the burgers are in the freezer, you can make the lemon dill sauce. Add yogurt, dill and lemon juice to a blender and pulse. Check consistency and add water as needed. Put in the fridge until ready to serve.
  6. Place burgers on BBQ and cook for approximately 6 minutes/side depending on thickness. The burger will be cooked when the juice runs clear.
  7. Add desired toppings to the patty and dig in.

Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake

I always know that my vegan baking is good when I catch my boyfriend sneaking seconds. This recipe will fulfill those cheesecake/ice cream cake cravings without the dairy. You’re in for a treat.

I first tasted vegan cheesecake from a bakery in London, Ontario. It was lemony, delicious and so light…I had to figure out how to recreate this.

One of the great things about cheesecake is that it will go well with a number of different flavours. Experiment with the top layer – lemon, blueberry, cocoa – all great! If you try it out, share your experience in the comments below.

The base of the cheesecake is made with dates and nuts. I used pecans and walnuts for the crust because I like the flavour and consistency. If you prefer, you can also use almonds.
I made a version that included some ground flax seeds which turned out well, but I didn’t have any on hand. There are some great benefits to eating flax meal, check out this post on heathline for more information.

The first layer of cheesecake has a nice vanilla flavour, sweetened with maple syrup. The soaked cashews create a very smooth texture.

To get that smooth texture from the cashews, the cashews need to be soaked long enough. If you have some extra time, you can soak them overnight in cold water. If you’re crunched for time, I usually pour boiling water over the cashews and leave it for 2 about hours.

The second layer is very light. With blended frozen raspberries and the remaining cashew mix, the ingredients comes together with a whipped texture. Someone had a sample of the raspberries – can you tell by the finger mark at the bottom of the bowl?

It’s raw, vegan, refined sugar-free and gluten-free. Not to mention that the colour is GREAT!

Now, enjoy your guilt free cheesecake! If you have a craving for ice cream, let it thaw for 10 minutes and enjoy. If you are looking for more of a cream cheese texture, take it out of the freezer and let it thaw for an hour. I prefer the second option because I think you can taste the raspberries better, but if you can’t wait, feel free to dig in!

Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake

  • Servings: 8 pieces
  • Difficulty: easy
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A healthy alternative to cheesecake. This dessert is raw and vegan but doesn't compromise on being creamy, tart, and delicious

Ingredients

    Base:
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 cup packed dates
  • Cake:
  • 2 cups cashews soaked for 2 hours
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh raspberries

Directions

  1. Add dates and nuts to a food processor. I set my food processor to the chop functionality. The crust should have a sticky texture. If your crust feels dry, you can add some coconut oil.
  2. Cut parchment paper into a circle and place in a small pie dish. Ensure that the parchment paper is higher than the rim of the dish. This will help you lift out the cheesecake.
  3. Put the nut and date mixture into the pie dish and press down so it creates a thin layer on the bottom of the dish. This will be your crust.
  4. Add the cashews, coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla in the blender. Blend until very creamy and smooth.
  5. Pour approximately 2/3 of the mix into the pie dish and pop that in the freezer. Leave for 15 minutes.
  6. Add the raspberries to the remaining mix and blend until smooth. Leave the mix in the blender for 15 minutes. This will give the frozen raspberries an opportunity to soften and the cake in the freezer to harden.
  7. Check the consistency of your top layer. If your mixture is very soft, you can pour the raspberry layer directly on top and spread it out. If your mixture is thicker spoon the recipe out all over the top and spread gently.
  8. Pop the cheesecake back in the freezer for 3-4 hours to let it set.
  9. For an ice cream cake – tet the cheesecake thaw for 10 minutes. For cheesecake – give it 45 minutes to defrost. I prefer the second option because it’s creamier, but if you’re craving ice cream the first will do!Decorate the top however you like and enjoy.