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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Vegan Holiday Pie with Hot Water Pastry


Vegan Holiday Pie with Hot Water Pastry
Serves 6-8 people

For the filling

3 cups* mushrooms, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cups carrots, cut into 1cm slices
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 can chopped tomatoes*
1 1/2 cups water or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons red wine (optional)
1 cup brown lentils*
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1/4 cup water
2 cups frozen peas

In a large pot, add the mushrooms and sear* for about 4 minutes, or until golden and significantly reduced in size. Stir in the onion and cook for another 2 minutes, or until translucent. Add the carrots, and cook for another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, cook for an additional minute, then add the spices and stir for about 30 seconds. Pour the apple cider vinegar into the pot and stir, then the tomatoes, water, and red wine (if using). 

Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the lentils and reduce the heat to medium low, then simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stir in the mustard and taste for seasoning, adjusting if needed. Use a fork to whisk the arrowroot powder into the 1/4 cup water then pour into the pot and stir. It should thicken immediately. Add the peas and remove from the heat. Set this aside while you make the pastry.

For the pastry (I did not have enough dough to put a top on it, but I did use a 9 inch pan.)

2 cups spelt flour* (I used regular unbleached flour.)
dash sea salt
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup coconut oil - be generous with measurement
1/4 cup olive oil - be generous with measurement

Grease a 8 inch springform pan with coconut oil and preheat the oven to 375F. Keep the filling on hand, and clear your countertop.

Place the flour and salt into a large heat safe bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the water, coconut oil, and olive oil to a low boil over medium heat. Pour the water mixture into the bowl and stir briskly with a wooden spoon* until it starts to combine. Use your hands - it will be hot, but shouldn't burn - to mix and knead the dough for about a minute or until it forms a smooth ball.

Separate the pastry into two pieces, two-thirds and one-third. Lightly flour a countertop and place two-thirds of the pastry onto it. You can also roll the pastry between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll it out to about 1 cm thick, resisting the urge to go thinner, turning occasionally, and working quickly. Place the rolled out pastry into the prepared springform and gently lift the sides and press the base and seams until settled. If it rips simply patch it with some extra pastry from the top. Make sure there are no empty spaces between the pan and the pastry.

Place the filling into the pastry and press down gently with a spoon, again working quickly (your pastry for the topping is waiting). Flour the countertop again and roll out the remaining one-third of the pastry to 1 cm thick. Place this onto the pie and use your thumbs and fingertips to press the base and the top pastry together, then use a fork to seal it. There should be a lip of pastry slightly higher than where the filling ends. Trim any excess pastry with a knife.

Use a wooden spoon to make at least one vent in the top of the pie. Bake for 60 minutes at 375F.  Only do the next step if you have a top on your pie, increase the heat to 400F for an additional 10 minutes to brown the pastry. Carefully remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 15-20 minutes before removing the sides of the pan, and serve hot. Don't drop it.

• My pie cracked a bit when I took it off the springform base and it was quite cool when I photographed it, so I recommend serving it on the base instead of trying to lift/slide it off.
• You don't have to use the wine. I've made it both with and without and using it adds a bit of depth, but if you don't keep it in the house, don't buy a bottle just for this recipe.
• I suggest making the filling either the night before or the morning of that you're planning to serve the pie. It's a lot easier to work with when it's not piping hot and it'll reduce cooking stress. It also freezes really well.
• Usually you'd knead a bit longer with a hot water pastry but we're using spelt and don't want to over mix.
• Don't use too much flour on your countertop - first, you don't need it as this isn't a sticky dough, and second, if you add too much additional flour the pastry could crack.
• Leftovers keep very well indeed, for about three days in the fridge. To reheat and crisp it up again, just pop it in the oven at 200C for about 10 minutes, or have it cold.

1. Measure the mushrooms in cups after chopping, not before.
2. Try to soak the lentils beforehand, 24 hours if you can. If not, rinse them well before adding.
3. The mushrooms need to have the water cooked out of them. Add a pinch of salt if you see too much water forming and turn the heat up if necessary to keep them from turning rubbery.
4. I time my recipes with a stopwatch BUT depending on the type of pan you use, the stove, and so on, timing will be different.
5. I generally use primarily light spelt flour, and haven't tried with all whole spelt. I've gone up to 50/50 and it worked.

Spring Clean Raw Beet, Carrot, and Apple Salad

2 servings

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled
  • 1 large red beet, peeled
  • 1 large golden beet, peeled
  • 1 apple (sweet variety), chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (or less if you are not a garlic fan)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste (I used a couple shakes)
  • 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup, to taste
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp salt)
  • 2-3 tbsp Sesame seeds
  • 3-4 tbsp Chopped almonds
1. Trim, peel, and grate the carrots and beets. You can use a food processor with a grater attachment if preferred). Chop apple and place the grates beets, carrot, and chopped apple into a large bowl.
2. Assemble the dressing by whisking together the minced garlic, EVOO, lemon juice, vinegar, red pepper flakes, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Adjust dressing to taste. Pour the dressing onto the vegetables and mix well. Allow to sit for at least a half hour so the flavours can develop.
3. Add in your desired seeds and nuts and serve chilled or at room temperature over a bed of greens. 



My Favorite Detox Salad!
Serves: 6 Servings

2 cups kale
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups brussel sprouts, roughly chopped
2 cups red cabbage, roughly chopped
1 cup carrots, roughly chopped
½ cup fresh parsley
½ cup almonds
1 to 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds

For the dressing:
3 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup lemon juice (or juice of two lemons)
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. honey (or maple syrup)
¼ tsp. sea salt

Using a food processor, process all the veggies up to the parsley until finely chopped and mix together in a large bowl. This may take a few batches.
Add almonds to the food processor and pulse, until roughly chopped, and mix in with the salad along with the sunflower seeds.
In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and drizzle over top of the salad OR place in a jar and use as needed. Enjoy!

Protein Balls

From :

Top 8 Allergen Free Protein Balls
Chocolate black bean protein balls are free from peanuts, tree nuts, and seeds. Made with black beans, cocoa, coconut oil, coconut flakes and chocolate pieces.

45 min
Prep Time
45 min
Total Time

400g Can of Black Beans (rinsed well)
4 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Coconut Oil
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 cup Rolled Oats (old fashion)
1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/3 cup Chocolate, either chips or bakers chocolate (roughly chopped)

In a blender, Vitamix, or food processor blend black beans, honey, coconut oil, and cocoa together until a smooth paste is formed. Once you think you have blended it enough, blend it for 30 seconds more.
Transfer black bean paste to a bowl and mix in rolled oats, sunflower seeds, and chocolate until very well combined. The same applies here, one you feel it is well mixed, mix it again!
Roll into balls, either weigh them out or eyeball it. If you weigh them out, take the overall weight of the dough and divide by 30 to get the weight for each ball (roughly 20g). When rolling into balls, the dough may crumble a bit, give it a squeeze (like dry play dough) and gently roll between your two hands.
Keep refrigerated. They are good for up to 3 weeks.

Mexican Chopped Salad


2 handfuls fresh corn kernels
2 handfuls chopped orange bell pepper
2 handfuls halved cherry tomatoes
2 handfuls chopped radishes
2 handfuls chopped cucumbers
2 handfuls chopped avocado
2 handfuls finely chopped red onion
2 handfuls sliced scallions
2 handfuls cilantro leaves
2 handfuls chopped romaine
Lemon juice
Lime juice
Ground cumin
Crumbled Cotija or feta cheese

In a bowl, toss corn kernels, orange bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, radishes, cucumber, avocado, red onion, scallions, cilantro leaves and romaine. Mix up a vinaigrette using lemon juice, lime juice and EVOO; season with cumin and salt. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette and sprinkle with crumbled Cotija or feta cheese.

Cucumber, Watermelon, and Roasted Corn Salad


 Serves 6 to 8

2 ears fresh corn
2 cups diced seedless watermelon
1 hothouse cucumber, seeded and diced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons red wine or champagne vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roast the corn for about 30 minutes, until tender. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, shuck and corn and cut the kernels off the cobs. Toss together the corn, watermelon, cucumber, feta, red onion, and basil in a large bowl. Whisk together the vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat.

One pot mushroom stroganoff


 Prep Time 5 minutes
 Cook Time 15 minutes
 Total Time 20 minutes
 Servings 4


  • 1 Small Yellow Onion
  • 10 oz Cremini or Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • 4 cups Dry Rotini Pasta 
  • 4 cups Imitation Beef Flavored Veggie Broth
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/3 cup Cashew Butter
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp Salt (optional)
  • Fresh Chopped Parsley, to garnish


  1. Peel your Onion, cut it in half, and then thinly slice it into half "rings." Clean your Mushrooms using a damp paper towel or cloth, then cut in half or fourths, depending on size. You want to keep the Mushrooms relatively large, as they will shrink when cooking and are meant to imitate beef in this recipe.
  2. Pour a splash of water to a large pot over medium heat. Add in the sliced Onions and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add in the Pasta, Mushrooms, Beef-flavored Broth, and Black Pepper. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. 
  4. Turn the heat off, then stir in the Cashew Butter and Lemon Juice until everything is well incorporated. Taste the pasta and add any additional Salt, if necessary.
  5. Top with freshly chopped Parsley and Black Pepper, and serve warm. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. 

Recipe Notes

I opted to use Cashew Butter instead of cashews in this recipe for convenience. This brand is my favorite, but if you prefer to make your own, here's an easy recipe.
I used this brand of Vegan Beef-Flavored Broth and thought it had a great flavor! If you can't find Beef-flavored broth you can substitute Veggie Broth, but this recipe will not taste as realistic.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Spinach Artichoke Enchiladas



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped red onion (about 1 small red onion)
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 can artichokes, quartered if necessary
  • 12 ounces baby spinach, preferably organic
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 can red enchilada sauce or 2 cups homemade red sauce (see recipe below) **see note below on filling in the instructions.
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
  1. To make your enchiladas, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with racks in the middle position and upper third. Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch pan.
  2. In a large skillet, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat (Can skip this step if you have a non-stick pan.)  Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender and translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the drained artichokes then add a few large handfuls of spinach. Cook, stirring and tossing frequently, until the spinach has wilted. Repeat with remaining spinach. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the pan is no longer wet with excess moisture. Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to a bowl. Stir in the drained black beans and enchilada sauce. Season to taste with pepper.
  4. Spray your pan with cooking spray.  To assemble your first enchilada, spread ½ cup spinach artichoke mixture down the middle of a tortilla, then snugly wrap the left side over and then the right, to make a wrap. Place it seam side down against the edge of your pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling. **I find the filling runny enough not to add more on the top (except the dripping from pan).  If you prefer the sauce on the outside, leave it out of the filling and cover with sauce once they are in the pan leaving the very ends of the enchiladas bare. Sprinkle shredded cheese evenly over the enchiladas if you choose too.
  5. Bake, uncovered, on the middle rack for 20 minutes. If the cheese on top isn’t golden enough for your liking, carefully transfer the enchiladas to the upper rack of the oven and bake for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until sufficiently golden and bubbly.
  6. Remove from oven and let the enchiladas cool for 10 minutes.
If making the sauce:

Homemade red enchilada sauce (yields 2 cups sauce)

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat or all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Before you make the sauce, measure the flour and spices into a small bowl and place your tomato paste near the stove. In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, warm the oil until shimmering (it should be warm enough that the spices sizzle on contact). Pour in the flour and spice mixture. While stirring constantly with a whisk, cook until fragrant and slightly deepened in color, about 1 minute. Whisk the tomato paste into the mixture, then slowly pour in the broth while whisking constantly to remove any lumps.
  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, whisking often, for about five minutes, until the sauce has thickened a bit and a spoon encounters some resistance as you stir it. (The sauce will further thicken as it cools.) Remove from heat, then whisk in the vinegar and season to taste with a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Honey Oat Quick Bread



  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, or quick-cooking (not instant) oats, divided
  • 1⅓ cups whole-wheat flour, or white whole-wheat flour (see Tip)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 8 ounces (scant 1 cup) nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup clover honey, or other mild honey
  • ¾ cup nonfat or low-fat milk
  • Position rack in middle of oven; preheat to 375°F. Generously coat a 9-by-5-inch (or similar size) loaf pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon oats in the pan. Tip the pan back and forth to coat the sides and bottom with oats.
  • Thoroughly stir together whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork, beat the remaining 1 cup oats, yogurt, egg, oil and honey in a medium bowl until well blended. Stir in milk. Gently stir the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture just until thoroughly incorporated but not overmixed (excess mixing can cause toughening). Immediately scrape the batter into the pan, spreading evenly to the edges. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon oats over the top.
  • Bake the loaf until well browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. (It's normal for the top to crack.) Let stand in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a table knife around and under the loaf to loosen it and turn it out onto the rack. Let cool until barely warm, about 45 minutes.
    • Make Ahead Tip: Store cooled bread, tightly wrapped, for up to 1 day at room temperature. If desired, warm (wrapped in foil) at 375°F before serving.
    • Tip: White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour. Two companies that distribute the flour nationally are King Arthur Flour ( and Bob's Red Mill (

Irresistible Chewy Trail Mix Cookies (Vegan + Gluten-free)

Yield  23 small cookies


Dry Ingredients
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats, blended into oat flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or almond flour
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3 tablespoons mini dark chocolate chips (or finely chopped chocolate)
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
Wet Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax + 2 tablespoons water, mixed together
  • 1/4 cup "drippy" raw almond butter (or other all-natural nut butter)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the ground flax and water in a small mug and set aside so it can gel up.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients.
  4. In another medium sized bowl, stir together the wet ingredients, including the flax egg until thoroughly combined.
  5. Add the wet mixture on top of the dry mixture and stir well until combined. This will take quite a bit of stirring until all of the dry patches of flour are gone.
  6. Portion small balls of dough (just smaller than golf balls) onto the baking sheet, spacing them a couple inches apart. I ended up baking two trays of cookies because I didn't know how much they were going to spread out.
  7. Bake cookies for 13-15 minutes (I baked for a full 15 minutes), until light golden brown on the bottom. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack until completely cool. The cookies will break apart easily until cooled, so be careful.
  8. Wrap up and store leftovers on the counter or in the freezer, if desired.


Notes: 1) For a completely gluten-free cookie, be sure to use certified gluten-free rolled oats and to check all other ingredient labels. 2) To make oat flour: Add 1 cup of rolled oats into a high speed blender and process on high until a flour forms. 3) To make almond meal, add a scant 1/2 cup of almonds into a high speed blender and blend on high until a fine meal forms. Break up clumps with your fingers and measure as normal. 4) The raw almond butter I used was very drippy, so be sure to use a drippy, all-natural nut butter if possible.