Slowcooked refried bean dip with mushrooms and spinach

A very simple, flavourful dip with lots of greens,
garnished here with some scallions, sriracha and a white miso, sesame spread.

Ingredients

1 large, 6″ portobello mushroom, stemmed and cut 1/4″ dice
2 cups shredded green cabbbage (I use cole slaw mix)
3 scallions, minced, 2″ – 3″ reserved for garnish
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/2t dried, ground cumin
1/4t dried, ground coriander
1/4t dried red chilis (or to taste)
1/4t coarse sea salt
1 cup refried beans
1T cashew butter
1T lemon juice
1 cup vegetable stock
2T tomato passata (or puree)
2 cups packed spinach, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt and black pepper/red chili to taste

Optional: Add more cashew butter to taste and
application. Garnish with scallions, sriracha, a sour cashew cream, etc. Serve with tortilla chips, fresh bread, whatever you like. If you don’t make your beans from scratch with a little dried kombu, you may want to add a small piece with the stock. Remove it before adding the spinach.

Method

Warm your slowcooker on high. Add the mushrooms, cabbage, herbs, spices, and sea salt. Cook on high for about 2 hours until the cabbage is well wilted. Add everything from the refried beans up to and including the passata.

Reduce heat to low and cook another 3 – 4 hours or so, until the dip has thickened, stirring periodically. Slowcookers vary depending on the size and exact heat. Use the colour and thickness as a guide.

When the dip has thickened, add the spinach and toss to combine. Let cook another 10 minutes or so to wilt the spinach. Remove from heat. Add the nutritional yeast.
Season to taste. Garnish and serve warm.

Ginger, coffee, and walnut nice cream sweetened with dates

A rich, lightly spicy treat.

Ingredients

3 medium frozen bananas (about 2 cups)
1 shot espresso (short)
1t fresh ginger, grated and minced (or to taste)
1/4 cup dried, soft dates, pitted and chopped
1T walnuts chopped with 1t reserved for garnish

Optional: 1t maca powder.

Method

Blend everything but the garnish until smooth. Scoop out, garnish with the walnuts and serve. If your dates are hard, soften them in the coffee then blend.

 

 

Peanut butter, chocolate breakfast bar with dates and figs

Simple, nutrient dense, no baking, no gluten, no added sugar, no added oil, and covered in chocolate.

Ingredients

1/4 cup whole grain teff
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk (I use soy)
1T cocoa powder (I use a Dutch-processed, fair trade brand)
A pinch coarse sea salt
1/4 cup unsweetened, unsalted peanut butter (I use crunchy)
1/4 dried, soft figs, stemmed and finely chopped (I use calimyrna)
1/4 dried, soft dates, pitted and finely chopped (I use medjool)
2T boiling water
1T tapioca flour dissolved in 2T  water
80g dark chocolate (I use a fair trade, organic bar)

Optional: Add a little chili to the chocolate. Double the chocolate for more of a dessert. Use cashew or macadamia nut butter or even sesame seed butter as an alternative to peanuts. Add a tablespoon or two of coconut sugar for a sweeter tooth.

Method

In a small, heavy-bottomed pan with a lid, toast the teff on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the water and bring the pan to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and and simmer for about 20 minutes (until the teff is pulling away from the sides of the pan), stirring more frequently at the end).

Add the plant milk and cocoa powder. Stir to combine. Increase heat to medium low. Simmer another 5 minutes. While the teff finishes, add the boiling water to the figs and dates and rehydrate a little. Add the tapioca mixture to the teff slowly, stirring continuously until it thickens. Remove from heat.

Mix the peanut butter in with the dates and figs but leave it marbled rather than fully combined. Pour into a 3″ x 9″ loaf pan and let cool 1 hour to setup.

When the bar has setup, turn out of the pan onto plastic wrap top down. Let stand about 15 minutes. Melt the chocolate using a double boiler, two doubled up pans, etc. When the chocolate has melted, turn the bar over. Spoon the melted chocolate over the bar and spread evenly.

Let stand about 30 minutes at room temperature for the chocolate to firm up. Chill uncovered about an hour. Wrap with plastic and chill until ready to serve (at least a few hours, or overnight).

Portobello mushroom, tofu wrap with coconut milk, sea vegetable spread and wilted spinach

Rich, smoky and full of greens. The recipe for the spread makes quite a lot (so, reduce or be prepared to have extra on hand).

Ingredients

For the spread
1 cup red lentils
2 cups vegetable stock
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 2″)
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (I use full fat)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/4t coarse sea salt
2T nutritional yeast
1T nori flakes
2t purple dulse flakes
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the tortilla
1/2 cup whole wheat bread flour
1/4 cup lukewarm water
A pinch fine sea salt (if you like)

For the tofu and mushrooms
120g extra firm, high quality tofu cut in 1/4″ long strips
1 medium portobello mushroom, stemmed and sliced thickly, 1/3″
2T tamari
1/2T lemon juice
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup baby spinach
1/2T nutritional yeast
A pinch sea salt

Optional: You can also make this on the stove top or bake in a ceramic dish, but both require more attention. If you want to keep the spread close to white, stir more frequently. If you’d like a fond, don’t stir as much. Sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, capers, and other high flavour ingredients would also make nice additions.

Method

Make the spread first, and then when it has setup, make the remaining ingredients starting with the mushrooms and tofu, then the wrap and then the spinach.

Warm a slowcooker on high. Add everything up to and including the sea salt. Cover and cook on high, stirring periodically, reducing until you have about 2 1/2 cups — expect several hours depending on your slowcooker. When reduced, remove from heat. Remove the kombu. Add the nutritional yeast, nori, and dulse. Stir to combine.

Let stand to cool uncovered about 30 minutes. Season to taste. Spoon out into an appropriate dish, cover loosely and chill 30 minutes. Pour off any condensed water, cover tightly and chill overnight to setup. When ready to serve, adjust the seasoning to taste depending on use and enjoy.

When the spread is ready, make the tortilla. Mix the water and flour, then knead until a smooth, pliable dough forms and then for another two minutes. Cover with a warm, wet tea towel and let rest for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450F. Toss the portobello mushrooms and tofu in the tamari. On a lightly oil or nonstick baking sheet or roasting pan, roast the tofu and mushrooms on the middle rack for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned.

Turn periodically to brown evenly. Ovens vary; use the colour and texture as a guide. Remove from heat when done (separately if necessary). When the tofu and mushrooms are looking done, add the spinach to the pan and roast another 2 – 3 minutes to wilt.

While the tofu and mushrooms finish, roll out the tortilla. On a floured board, roll the tortilla out to a 13″ – 14″ circle about 1/8″ thick. Be careful not to roll too thinly (the dough will have transparencies, start to split, etc.). If you don’t have a large enough frying pan, you can try a pizza stone. Otherwise, you can break the dough up and roll out to two tortillas about 6 1/2″ – 7″.

Bring the frying pan (or griddle if you have one) to heat on medium high. Dry fry the tortilla lightly on both sides until the tortilla is lightly browned (it will also bubble a little), turning once.This shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes, both sides. Be careful not to overcook.

Let the tortilla rest a few minutes to cool and soften. Season the mushrooms and tofu to taste.Add about 1/4 cup spread to the tortilla and spread evenly in the middle. Add the mushrooms, the spinach and the tofu.

Dust the spinach with the nutritional yeast and a pinch sea salt when you add it. Roll up like you would a burrito — from the bottom up over the filling away from you, tucking in the sides and rolling over (go gently!). Cut in half if you like and enjoy!

Whole grain, flax waffles with raspberry, fig compote and cashew topping

Simple waffles with lovely colours and flavours.

Ingredients

For the waffles
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2t baking powder
A pinch baking soda
1T milled flax seed
Coconut sugar to taste (I use 1T)
1 1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk (I use soy)
1/2T balsamic vinegar
1/2T avocado oil (or similar)
Additional plant milk as necessary
A pinch sea salt

For the compote
1 1/2 cups raspberries
3 dried, soft fig, stems trimmed and sliced,1/8″ (more for a sweet tooth)
A pinch sea salt
Sweeten to taste (I don’t use additional sweetener)

For the cashew topping
1T cashew butter
12t lemon juice
1 – 3t sweet white miso (or to taste)
1T cold water

Optional: The miso is what adds the fermented flavour to the cashews. Use sodium reduced if you have the choice. If you’re new to miso (or want to keep your sodium intake low) add 1t at a time to start. You may need to increase or decrease the amount of batter in ratio to suit the size and cut of your maker. You may also need additional plant milk to suit your flour.

Method

Start the cashew butter, then the berries, and then the waffles. Whisk together the ingredients for the cashews in order until emulsified. You’ll know when this happens. Refrigerate until you’re ready to use.

Warm a large pan on medium heat. Add 3/4 cup raspberries and the sea salt. Saute for 2 – 3 minutes until they are berries are starting to lose the juice. Add the figs. Saute another 2 – 3 minutes. Add the remaining raspberries and stir fry until heated through. If you use frozen berries, you may need to increase the cooking time. Remove from heat.

While the berries cook, whisk together the ingredients for waffles. Mix the dry ingredients for the waffles. Mix the wet ingredients. Mix the wet with the dry and let stand a few minutes while the berries finish. Turn off the stove, but leave them in the pan to keep them warm.

Heat up your waffle maker (or your waffle pans if that’s what you have) as per its instructions. When ready, add half of the batter. Cook as appropriate and repeat. Spoon the compote over the waffles, add the cashew butter mixture, and enjoy.

Romano bean and kale soup

A simple and nourishing soup that relies on the texture and flavour contrasts of romano beans with kale. Served here with freshly baked bread.

Ingredients

1/4t coarse sea salt
1 small scallion, minced
1/2T fresh garlic, minced
1t herbes de Provence (or similar)
1/4t black pepper
A pinch dried chilis
1/2T balsamic vinegar
1/2T tamari
1 cup cooked romano beans
2 cups vegetable stock
2T tomato passata (or puree)
1 cup curly green kale, coarsely chopped
2T nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: Add some small pasta if you like. Increase the tomato passata for more tomato flavour. Use white beans if you prefer, but the texture and flavour won’t be quite the same. If you use canned beans, drain and rinse them thoroughly. I make mine from dried with a little kombu.

Method

In a medium pan with a lid, on medium high heat, stir fry everything from the scallions, up to and including the chilis for 2 minutes with a little water or avocado oil if you prefer. Add the vinegar and tamari. Deglaze the pan if necessary. Add the beans, stock, and passata.

Bring the pan to a light simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 5-7 minutes. Add the kale. Simmer another 2 – 3 minutes to wilt. Ladle out, garnish with nutritional yeast and serve.

Red lentil, coconut milk and sea vegetable spread

Simple, savoury and rich, this makes for a luxurious addition to fresh bread, socca, with seitan, tofu and other dishes. Shown here with breaded eringi mushroom crostini and lightly wilted spinach.

Ingredients

1 cup red lentils
2 cups vegetable stock
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 2″)
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (I use full fat)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/4t coarse sea salt
2T nutritional yeast
1T nori flakes
2t purple dulse flakes
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: You can also make this on the stove top or bake in a ceramic dish, but both require more attention. If you want to keep the spread close to white, stir more frequently. If you’d like a fond, don’t stir as much. Sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, capers, and other high flavour ingredients would also make nice additions.

Method

Warm a slowcooker on high. Add everything up to and including the sea salt. Cover and cook on high, stirring periodically, reducing until you have about 2 1/2 cups — expect several hours depending on your slowcooker. When reduced, remove from heat. Remove the kombu. Add the nutritional yeast, nori, and dulse. Stir to combine.

Let stand to cool uncovered about 30 minutes. Season to taste. Spoon out into an appropriate dish, cover loosely and chill 30 minutes. Pour off any condensed water, cover tightly and chill overnight to setup. When ready to serve, adjust the seasoning to taste depending on use and enjoy.

 

 

Vanilla cashew frozen dessert with salted date caramel and pecans

A simple but luxurious dessert.

Ingredients

For the bananas
2 medium frozen bananas (about 1 1/2 cups)
1T cashew butter
1/4t vanilla extract

For the caramel
1/4 cup large, soft dates, pitted and chopped
1/4t vanilla extract
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/4 cup hot water

For garnish
1-2t pecans

Method

Soak the pitted and chopped dates in the hot water with the vanilla and sea salt for about 10 minutes. Puree with the vanilla until smooth. Add the sea salt. Puree the banana with the cashew butter and vanilla. Add one tablespoon of the banana mixture to the caramel and stir to combine. Swirl about 1/2 of the caramel with the bananas and stir a little to marble. Spoon out the remainder into an appropriate glass. Garnish with the remainder of the caramel and pecans and serve.

Blueberry, lemon frozen dessert sweetened with dates

A simple, refreshing treat.

Ingredients

2 cups frozen blueberries
1 medium frozen banana (about 3/4 cups)
1T lemon juice
1/3 to 1/2 cup soft, dried dates, pitted and chopped

Optional: 1t powdered maca root. Add more dates for a sweeter dessert.

Method

Blend the blueberries and lemon first. Add the dates and blend. Then blend in the banana. Blend in the maca if you’ll be using it. Spoon out and enjoy.

Slowcooked, curry spiced seitan, potato and mushroom stew

Layered with curry spices, garama masala, kale, tomato and sesame, this is a simple, slowcooked dish with rich flavour and texture. This makes 2 large bowls, or 4 small ones.

Ingredients

For the lentils
2T curry powder
1/2t dried red chilis (or to taste)
1/4 cup scallions, finely chopped
1T fresh garlic, minced
1t fresh ginger, minced
1t turmeric (or to taste)
1 cup lentils
1 cup boiling water
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu, about 1″
1/2t coarse sea salt (or to taste)
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups cremini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
2 cups potoato, 1/2″ dice (I use organic russets for this)
2 cups green curly kale, coarsely chopped
Coarse sea salt and black pepper or chili to taste

For the seitan
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/3 – 1/2 cup cold water

For the garnish
1T garam masala
1 scallion, finely sliced on an angle
1/4 cup passata
1T sesame seed butter
1t lemon juice
1/2t fresh garlic, minced
1T cold water
A pinch sea salt

Optional: Use freshly ground spices for more flavour. You can also prepare this is a large, wide bottomed pan with a lid on the stove — just be sure to adjust the cooking time. A couple tablespoons cooking oil will add flavour and mouthfeel. Replace the passata with diced tomato if you prefer and the sesame with a little coconut milk to keep it simple. Replace the seitan with extra firm tofu if you prefer, but add it with the lentils. Add some cilantro, mint or both for garnish for some additional bright green flavour.

Method

Warm the slowcooker on high heat. Add the curry spices and toast until fragrant (about 2 – 3 minutes). Add the scallions, garlic, ginger and turmeric. Let cook 3 – 5 minutes, stirring periodically.

Add the lentils, water and kombu. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes on high heat.Add the stock, sea salt, and mushrooms. Cover and cook on low for at least 4 hours and up to 8.

When the lentils are ready, increase heat to high. Remove the kombu. Mix the water and wheat gluten for the seitan. Add as little water as necessary to form a dough. Knead for 3 minutes. Cut into 1/4″ to 1/3″ cubes. Add the seitan to the slowcooker. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for about an hour until the potatoes are fork tender.

When the stew is ready, add the kale and stir to combine. Turn off the slowcooker. Whisk the sesame seed butter, lemon juice, garlic and water. Season to taste. Warm a small pan on medium. In a small pan over medium heat, toast the garam masala until fragrant and set aside. Season the stew to taste.

Ladle out. Garnish with a sprinkle of garama masala, 2 tablespoons tomato passata, and 1/2 tablespoon sesame mixture. Sprinkle with sliced scallions and serve.