Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Mexican Corn and Black Bean Salsa

Sadly, summer is turning its back on us. The sun no longer stays out later than 8:30pm, peach season is waning, and Christmas jingles are playing on the radio and television (alright, not quite, though the Staples commercial comes pretty close).

Ignore the fact that this is a commercial for KFC; I think it conveys how I am feeling about the end of summer though :P

This summer has been awesome in so many ways. Since moving away for university, coming home for extended periods of time has always been a difficult adjustment. Transitioning from unrestricted freedom to living with parental figures can be akin to pulling a Benjamin Button, but after three years I think I’ve finally got the hang of it. I took it upon myself to keep busy this summer with both work and play; I think I did a pretty good job!
Summer 2013 was great in so many ways. I got to watch the sun rise on my commute to work, spent time exploring new places in my city, frequented farmers market, read (47!) books, cottaged with my pals, ran four organized races (on top of a whole lot more running miles), learned to ride my bike without hands, ate my weight in fresh grapes, watermelon, peaches, and blueberries, kept up my yoga practice, and throughly enjoyed every beautiful sunny (and rainy) day.
This summer also marked the birth hello, veggy! I had dabbled with blogging over the past couple of years, but for whatever reason I never stuck with it. What a shame because writing this blog has brought me so much joy these past three months. Having a place where I can use my creative energy has been so beneficial for me; I thank you so much for reading and sticking with me!
In honour of the seasonal summer produce that will soon be leaving us, I whipped up a delicious and easy salsa recipe to share with you. It uses up those extra cobs of grilled corn and the last few tomatoes from the garden, and features some Mexican-inspired spices. Ole!

 

Mexican Corn and Black Bean Salsa

Cook time: 15 minutes

Yeild: Approx 5 c.

Ingredients

  • 3 ears roasted corn, removed from cob (approx. 3 c.)
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tbsp. chopped parsley

Dressing

  • juice from one lime (approx. 3 tbsp.)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

Instructions

  • Prepare vegetables and beans and place in a large mixing bowl. Mix until well incorporated.
  • In a small dish, whisk together dressing.
  • Pour over vegetables and beans and stir until coated. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Serve as an appetizer with corn tortilla chips, or as a side dish.

Enjoy summer cooking while it lasts! As sad as it is to see peaches, corn, and perfect strawberries leaving us for a while I am jazzed for the abundance of honey crisp apples, pumpkin recipes, and spaghetti squash that will soon be coming out way.

Question of the day: What is your favourite season? What are you looking forward to this fall?

Thanks so much for reading! Leave me a comment, or follow me on, FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram; I’d love to connect with you!

Feel Good Guru: Restaurant Review

Feel Good Guru is a tiny gem of a take-out joint in West Queen West, just across from Trinity Bellwoods Park. If the location weren’t ideal enough, just listen to their manifesto! FGG is committed to serving up whole, unprocessed, organic plant foods sans any animal products or ‘frankenfoods’. They aim to source ingredients either from local farmers, or grow it themselves in their own garden, and aim to be a zero-waste facility.

Source: feelgoodguru.com

Facilities

I’ll first emphasize that FGG is almost strictly a take-out restaurant. Although they have a few stools in the window (and a pretty shoddy bathroom for customers), don’t expect a typical restaurant dining experience. To make up from the lack of dining space, I have heard that they will loan you a picnic blanket so you can enjoy your food in the park across the street; pretty neat!

IMG_0914 IMG_0911

As for the decor, it is very bright and minimalistic. The menu board is actually projected on the wall and many of the dishes are displayed behind glass to ease your decision making process.

Score: 3/5

Food

To say I came to FGG hungry would be an understatement. I decided to treat myself after the Beaches 10K tune up (which was preceded by a 20km bike ride); I was ready to chow down! The menu is extensive and features a ton of different options, from salads, to noodle dishes, to heartier sandwiches and wraps. They also have a great variety of beverages, both hot and cold. The ingredients they use are locally sourced, and in make cases in made (and grown) in house! FGG uses their own sprouted almond milk in their drinks, and grows ingredients themselves in their own backyard and urban cultivator. Another great option FGG offers is half-sized portions; great for smaller appetites, tighter wallets, and those who just can’t decide!

After enlisting the help of the counter staff I eventually decided on a half order of the Spaghetti and Nut Balls Sandwich and a half order of Bangkok Doc Noodles.

Nut Ball Sandwich: “served open-faced on our carrot & flax seed bread, the nutball sub is messy, filling & delish! stuffed with herbed nutballs, market veggies & shredded summer cabbage and dressed in smoky chipotle mozzarella cream & raw marinara sauce.”

Bangkok Doc: “our super-healthy twist on Pad Thai, with kelp and zucchini noodles, grated carrots & cabbage, house-grown sunflower sprouts and garlic chives, garden coriander, basil and peas, all tossed in a creamy spicy zesty almond lime sauce.”

I’m not sure if you can tell from these pictures, but the portions are massive! Even after being famished, I ended up saving the majority of the noodles for dinner. The flavours of the food were excellent and very unique.

One downside I’ve noted at FGG is their tendency to run out of ingredients. On my first visit, they had run out of sprouted nut milk for the day (and were instead offering an alternative). Another visit left me slightly disappointed when I was told they had run out of matcha green tea powder. Whomp, whomp.

Score: 4/5

Service

Service at FGG was excellent; a perfect mixture of friendly and not overbearing. They were willing and able to answer my questions and offer suggestions. My food was served to me quickly and with a smile. My one issue looking back on my visit, is that I think I was actually overcharged for an item (I ordered half a sandwich, but was charged for the full portion).

Score: 4/5

Quality/Value

The quality of the ingredients used at FGG is unmatched; everything is exceptionally fresh and very tasty. That being said, the price is slightly higher to accommodate for this. The food I purchased actually spanned two meals, so I could rationalize the higher cost. In perusing some of their other menu options, I think the higher price would deter me from trying them (such as, the ‘Yogi Granola’ parfait is $16 before tax). Despite this, the fact that FGG offers half-sizes makes dining here an affordable treat!

Score: 4/5

Total Score: 15/20

Feel Good Guru on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. I have not been compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. This is not a sponsored post, nor have I been paid to review this restaurant. The opinions expressed here my own and are not influenced by any endorsement. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

Thanks so much for reading! Leave me a comment, or follow me on, FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram; I’d love to connect with you!

Thai Basil Eggplant Lettuce Wraps

Eggplant is seriously underrated. Unlike more ‘popular’ veggies, eggplant seems to get the stink eye more often than not. As a primer to the delicious recipe I have coming up for you, I found some fun facts about our veggie-du-jour.

  • Eggplants contain the highest amount of nicotine of any vegetable (but it’s still a negligible amount, don’t worry ;) )
  • Eggplants are related to tomatoes, and technically belong to the berry family
  • According to a Japanese proverb, eggplants bring good luck: “The happiest omen for a New Year is first Mount Fuji, then the falcon, and lastly eggplant“.

Source: indianapublicmedia.org

Aren’t you more excited already? I have submitted today’s recipe for Thai Basil Eggplant Lettuce Wraps to a new link-up called Veggies of the Month, hosted by the lovely Amy of Long Drive Journey.

Long Drive Journey
These salad wraps are inspired by my favourite Thai dish, Thai Basil Eggplant. I’m notorious for always ordering the same thing at Thai restaurants, and I’m happy that I’ll be able to make something similar at home. The eggplant softens but the peppers remain crispy for a nice crunch. The sauce is slightly umami but not overpowering, and the basil adds an extra punch of fresh summer flavour.

Thai Basil Eggplant Lettuce Wraps

Yield: Approx 4 c.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Chill time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/2 c. sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 medium eggplant, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 green and red bell pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 c. loosely packed and roughly chopped fresh basil
  • lettuce leaves, for serving

For the sauce

  • juice from one lime (approx 3 tbsp.)
  • 2 tsp. tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. miso
  • 1/8th tsp. sriracha

Instructions

  • Heat a large pan to medium heat and melt coconut oil.
  • Chop onion and eggplant and add to pan. Stir fry for 10-15 minutes, or until eggplant is soft and skin is no longer tough. Meanwhile, chop the peppers and basil, and mix the sauce in a small bowl.
  • Add peppers and sauce when eggplant is cooked. Stir fry for an additional 2-3 minutes; the peppers should retain some crispness. Adjust seasonings as required.
  • Stir in the basil. Transfer to an airtight container and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  • Serve as an appetizer with lettuce leaves to make lettuce wraps.

Since we are soon saying goodbye to summer, I’m trying to fit in as many summer dishes as I can muster. Lettuce wraps are so light, refreshing, and fun to eat; they are perfect for a picnic, BBQ, or potluck. The vegetable filling also makes a great salad topping, or side dish. You can also warm the veggies mixture, and serve with rice and tofu for a complete meal!

 

Make sure to check out all the other recipes for Amy’s link-up!

Question of the Day: Do you avoid/dislike any particular veggies/fruit?

Thanks so much for reading! Leave me a comment, or follow me on, FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram; I’d love to connect with you!

Gluten Free Vegan Breakfast Cookies

Source: Funsubstance

Yes, even for breakfast.

This is a veganized and de-glutened version of a favourite recipe. I was a bit shocked delighted by how true they are to the original! With a few simple swaps these cookies transformed into a cruetly-free and environmentally-friendly way to enjoy breakfast on the go. They are also customizable to your liking in both size and flavour. Feel free to make more smaller cookies for a snack, or larger cookies for a convenient breakfast. The nuts, seeds, and fruit can also be changed up to suit your taste buds.

Gluten Free Vegan Breakfast Cookies

Yield: 12 small ‘snack sized’ or 6 large ‘meal sized’

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 c. oatmeal (gluten free if required)
  • 1/2 c. spelt (for wheat free diets), brown rice (for gluten free diets) or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 c. buckwheat groats (unroasted, not kasha)
  • 2 tbsp. sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp. nut of choice, chopped (walnuts, hazelnuts, even almond pulp works!)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c. coconut oil
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar of choice (organic cane, coconut, sucanat)
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp warm water)
  • 1/3 c. medium-firm nonGMO tofu
  • 2 tbsp. brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 c. medjool dates (approx 2, pitted)
  • 1/2 c. frozen cranberries

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a small dish mix together flax egg (1 tbsp. ground flax seed + 3 tbsp. warm water). Set aside.
  • Mix together dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  • In a food processor blend together coconut oil (melt slightly if solid), sugar, flax egg, tofu, brown rice syrup, and dates. Add blended ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  • Add cranberries and stir until combined evenly.
  • Divide dough into equal sized portions (6 large or 12 small) and place so they are evenly spread apart on cookie sheet. Flatten slightly so they have a ‘hockey puck’ shape.
  • Bake for 30 minutes (slight browning and flattening should occur).

I know these will help power your weekday workings and weekend adventures! As promised, today I am announcing the winners of the Vegan Delish app for iOS. Thank you for entering and best of luck. Without further ado, the winners are:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats! I will be passing along your emails to Carrie so she can award you your prize. Happy weekending!

Question of the Day: How are you planning to soak up summer this weekend?

Thanks so much for reading! Leave me a comment, or follow me on, FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram; I’d love to connect with you!

Tropical Ginger Buckwheat Granola

On an island in the sun, we’ll be playing and having fun…

Oh Rivers, your serenade never fails to make me feel as though I’m on a warm beach somewhere. Give me Weezer and a bowl full of this forthcoming granola any time of year and I’d be a happy girl.

Buckwheat has been making regular appearances in my granola making for some time now. Ever since I came across Angela’s recipe, I have been tweaking it to fulfil my granola craving du jour. I especially like this recipe because I can use up leftover pulp from making homemade almond milk. Here are some fun facts about the star of our granola show:

-buckwheat is a fruit seed related to rhubarb
-contrary to it’s name, buckwheat is actually wheat-free and gluten-free
-it’s high fibre content helps to prevent cardiovascular disease and gallstones.
Source: WHFoods

Despite its deliciousness, I’ve had challenges locating buckwheat at even some of the best bulk food stores. Your best bet is probably an independent health food store or Whole Foods. I wouldn’t suggest substituting Kasha (roasted buckwheat) for this recipe. I have had success using equal parts of oatmeal and raw quinoa in place of the buckwheat; you can use these in a pinch.

As for the tropical-iness of the recipe; it’s all thanks to a combination of coconut and other dried tropical fruits. Feel free to use whatever you can get your hands on; coconut flakes (or desiccated coconut), dried mango, pineapple, or papaya! The crystallized ginger adds a characteristic zing and a slight sweetness that makes this granola a-one!

Tropical Ginger Buckwheat Granola

Yield: Approx 4 c.

Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 c. raw buckwheat groats (not kasha)
  • 1 c. almond pulp (homemade unroasted almond meal also works)
  • 1/4 c. crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • optional: 2 tbsp. coconut sugar (for sweeter granola)
  • 3 tbsp. sunflower seed, almond OR cashew butter butter
  • 3 tbsp. apple sauce
  • 3 tbsp. brown rice syrup
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. coconut flakes
  • 1/2 c. dried tropical fruits of choice (pineapple, mango, papaya, kiwi)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Add buckwheat groats, almond pulp, ginger, ginger powder, and optional sugar to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine well.
  • In a small pot or microwavable bowl add nut butter, apple sauce, brown rice syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla. Warm until ingredients can be stirred together (medium heat on the stovetop or 30 seconds on high in the microwave).
  • Add wet to dry and stir until dry ingredients are coated (it will be difficult to stir).
  • Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet in as thin a layer as possible. Bake for 30 minutes, turning and breaking up slightly halfway through.
  • When finished baking, turn off the oven and leave granola in oven for another 10 minutes (this helps the granola crisp up).
  • Remove tray from oven and add dried fruit and coconut. Stir and break up granola slightly to combine dried fruit.
  • Store in an airtight container.

You can serve this over a bowl of fruit and chia seed pudding, atop a smoothie bowl, or straight from the jar. I promise you that at least a third of the granola won’t see life past the cookie sheet; it’s insanely good coming right out of the oven!

%d bloggers like this: