Spicy chick pea and greens soup in a light tomato broth

A simple, rich and nourishing soup with no added oil and no added sugar.

Ingredients

1T smoked paprika
1/4t dried, crushed red chili (or to taste)
1/2t dried, ground cumin
1/2t dried oregano, rubbed
1/4t dried rosemary, rubbed
1/4t dried marjoram, rubbed
1/4t coarse sea salt
2 scallions, minced (3″-4″ green reserved for garnish)
2T warm water
1T fresh garlic, minced
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup passata (or tomato puree)
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 1″)
1 cup cooked chick peas
1 cup shredded green cabbage (I use coleslaw mix)
1/2 cup mixed baby greens
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: Garnish with 1T nutritional yeast for some additional nutrition and flavor. Saute with 1T cooking oil in place of 2T water if you prefer. A little dulse, nori or sesame seeds would also go well with this soup.

Directions

In a medium pan with a lid, toast the paprika, cumin, and chili on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the scallions and sea salt. Stir to combine. Add the green herbs and water. Water saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.

Add the stock, kombu, chickpeas and cabbage. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the passata. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 20 – 30 minutes or until the cabbage is wilted but not mushy. Don’t overcook — use the texture of the cabbage as a guide.

When ready, remove from heat. Remove the kombu. Add the greens and stir to combine. Let cool 5 minutes and for the greens to wilt. Ladle out, garnish with scallions greens sliced on an angle and nutritional yeast if you’ll be using it, and serve.

Spicy potatoes, mushrooms and cabbage roasted in curry spices, red miso and cashew milk tossed with mixed baby greens

This makes for a lovely and aromatic small plate for 4, a meal for 2.

Ingredients
2 cups white potatoes, 1/2″ dice
2 cups shredded green cabbage (I use coleslaw mix)
2 cups cremini mushrooms, 1/4″ slices
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
3T cashew butter
1T red miso (use low sodium if you can find it)
2T curry powder
2t coconut sugar
1/2t crushed red chili (or to taste, I use 1t)
1 cup mixed baby greens
Sea salt and red or black pepper to taste

Optional: Use whole, freshly ground or popped spices in place of the curry powder. Replace the stock and cashew butter with a can of coconut milk. White button mushrooms will work in place of cremini, but they don’t have as much flavor. Add cooked lentils or chickpeas for a rounder dish.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450F. Add the potatoes, then the cabbage, then the mushrooms to a roasting pan or baking sheet with sides.

Puree the stock with everything up to but not including the greens. Pour the cashew mix over the vegetables and toss a little to coat well.

Roast until the pan is nicely browned, and the potatoes are tender. Stir periodically to ensure the mushrooms and cabbage cook evenly. Expect about an hour. Ovens vary; use the colour and texture as a guide.

Remove from heat, toss with the greens and let stand 5 minutes to cool. Dish out and serve.

Chocolate frozen dessert with peanut butter,chocolate chip cookie dough

Ingredients

For the bananas
3 small bananas, frozen (about 2 cups)
2T cocoa (I use a fairly trade, Dutch-processed blend)
1/2t vanilla extract
1T cold water
Sweetened to taste (1/4 cup dried, soft dates, stevia, maple syrup, etc.)

For the cookie dough
1T whole wheat flour
1T unsweetened, unsalted peanut butter (I use crunchy)
1T coconut sugar (or to taste)
1-2t unsweetened plant milk
5g bittersweet chocolate, chipped (I use an organic, fairly traded bar)
A pinch coarse sea salt

Optional 1t maca powder. Replace the wheat flour with a suitable gluten free flour (e.g., sorghum). The coconut sugar will give the dough that bit of crystalline texture, but you can substitute other sweeteners. Replace the chocolate with actual chips if you prefer.

Directions

Mix the dry, the wet, and then the wet with the dry
ingredients for the cookie dough until a dough forms. Add an extra teaspoon of plant milk if dry. Let the dough rest a few minutes.

Mix the cocoa, the water and the dates and let stand 5 minutes. Blend the bananas with the vanilla until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture. Blend until smooth. Sweeten to taste.

Blend 1T cookie dough with the bananas for a more homogeneous flavour, or keep them separate for more contrast. Break the dough into small pieces (about 1/2 -1t). Stir once or twice into the nice cream. Spoon out and serve.

Spicy coconut milk stew with black beans, sweet potato, and mixed baby greens

Simple, rich and brightly coloured, this makes a small bowl for 4 and a large one for 2.

Ingredients

2T water
1/4t coarse sea salt
2 scallions, minced (3″ – 4″ reserved for garnish)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1t fresh ginger, grated and minced
1t crushed red chili (or to taste)
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup vegetable stock
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 1″)
2 cups sweet potato, peeled and cut 1/2″ dice
2 cups green cabbage, shredded (I use coleslaw mix)
2 cups cooked black beans
1 cup mixed baby greens (I use spinach, kale and chard)
1/2 cup ripe tomato, cored, seed and cut 1/4″ dice
Coarse sea salt and chili or black pepper to taste

Optional: A little cilantro with the baby greens adds some bright green flavor to this dish. Dulse and nori flakes will add additional colour and nutrition.

Directions

Bring a large frying pan with a lid to heat on medium. Add the water and the scallions and water saute for 2 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and chili and saute for another minute. Add the coconut milk and chili. Stir to combine. Simmer lightly for 2 minutes. Add the stock, kombu and sweet potato.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cabbage and stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the black beans. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sweet potato is fork tender. When the sweet potatoes are tender, remove from heat and remove the kombu.

Add the baby greens and stir gently to combine. Let stand 2 minutes to cool and for the greens to wilt. Season to taste. Ladle out and garnish with chopped tomato and scallion greens sliced on an angle.

Ricciolini (ringlets) with nori, mushrooms, artichokes, and kale

For the pasta
1 cup semolina flour
1t nori flakes
A pinch coarse sea salt
1/3 cup warm water
1t olive oil
2 liters water and 2t coarse sea salt for boiling

For the sauce
2T cooking oil
1/4t coarse sea salt

2 scallions, minced
1/2t dried basil, rubbed
1/4t dried oregano, rubbed
1/4t dried rosemary, rubbed
1/4t dried thyme, rubbed
1/4t dried marjoram, rubbed
1/4t dried red chili flakes (or to taste)
1/4t black pepper, freshly ground
1T garlic
2 cups cremini mushrooms, 1/2″ slices
1 cup artichoke hearts, finely chopped
1T lemon juice
2 cups passata (or tomato puree)
1 cup vegetable stock
2 cups green kale, coarsely chopped
2T pasta water
1/2T arrowroot powder dissolved in 1T cold water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: This is a relatively light sauce, close to soup. For a heavier sauce, reduce 3 cups of passata by about half and then add with the vegetable stock. Double the stock for a soup. Leave out the oil in the pasta and Water saute the scallion for a no oil version. A little red wine in the sauce will add depth and flavour. 2T sun-dried tomatoes, minced, added with the stock will also add depth. If you’d prefer your kale a little crunchier, add it to the sauce with the pasta.

Directions

First, start the pasta, then make the sauce. Mix the flour, nori and sea salt. Mix the oil and the 1/3 cup water. Mix the wet with the dry, and knead until a smooth elastic dough forms, and then another two minutes. Cover with a warm wet tea towel and let rest about 30 minutes.

In a large frying pan with a lid, bring the cooking oil to heat on medium high. Add the scallions, the dried green herbs and the chili. Saute for 2-3 minutes until the herbs are fragrant. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Add the mushrooms and artichoke hearts and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until the mushrooms have softened and have become lightly browned.

Add the lemon juice and deglaze the pan. Add the stock and the passata. Return the pan to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer while you make the pasta.

On a floured board, roll the pasta out to a large rectangle about 1/8″ thick. Trim uneven edges with a knife or a pastry cutter (I use a pastry cutter). Cut the pasta in about 1 1/2″ to 2″ strips by 1/2″ to 3/4″ strips. Larger is more traditional, and the smaller the strip, the more time you’ll spend curling. Smaller, however, is a little easier until you get the hang of the twist.

When the pieces are cut, carefully twist each in a ringlet/curl fashion. Take one end of the pasta and twist toward you. Twist the other end of the strip away from you. For a shorter strip, twist once. For a longer strip, twist twice.

As you twist, however, be careful to keep as round of a shape to the twist as you can — otherwise, your pasta will not have the ringlet shape that makes this dish a delight. Press each end of the curled pasta gently to the board so that it won’t unravel while it dries.

Note, you can always twist more more than twice if you have the patience and dexterity. You can also curl the pasta around a dowels if you have them, although this is more complicated. If you don’t get the curl you like with an individual piece, just add the piece to the trimmed dough, and roll back out until you have a board full of lovely curls. As with many pastas, practice makes perfect.

Repeat until you’ve used all of the dough. Let the curled pasta stand for at least 20 minutes to dry in that shape. Drying helps keep the shape of the curl.

When the pasta has dried, add the kale to the sauce and stir to combine. Increase the heat of the pan to medium-low and leave loosely covered. In a large pan, bring the 2 liters water to a light boil with the sea salt. Carefully add the curls to the water. Boil lightly until they start to float (a few minutes). Don’t overcook and drain immediately, adding 2T pasta water and the pasta to the sauce. Stir to combine.

Simmer, stirring frequently for 2 minutes. Add the arrowroot mixture slowly, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Remove from heat. Add the nutritional yeast. Stir to combine. Season to taste. Ladle out into bowls and serve.

Chilled blueberry borscht with sour cashew butter ribbon

Simple, light and refreshing, but you have to like beets for this one. The dark, fruity flavor of the blueberries presents first, followed by the sweet, earthy taste of the beets, and then the salted, sour taste of the cashews. This makes two large bowls, four small ones, and easily doubles.

Ingredients

2 cups blueberries (the smaller the berries, the better)
1 cup red beets, peeled and chopped
1/4t coarse sea salt
1 cup cold water
2T cashew butter
2T plant milk (I use soy)
1/2T white pickling vinegar
A pinch coarse sea salt
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: Replace the soy milk with a little extra 1/2T cashew butter and use 2T cold water. White pickling vinegar is normally double strength white vinegar. So, you can also use regular white vinegar, but you may need a little more cashew butter to get the right texture. You can use cooked or raw beets with this dish, but raw are preferred. You can also use fresh or frozen blueberries. Puree the beets with the sea salt first, and then add the blueberries if you do. You’ll also need to cover and chill the soup a bit if you use fresh. Add a little freshly minced jalapeño pepper to give this soup some additional spicy, citrus flavor. Maybe a little fresh dill.

Directions

Puree the beets, blueberries and sea salt until smooth. Mix the cashew butter with the soy milk, vinegar and sea salt until smooth and fluffy. Let stand 5 minutes to thicken further.

When ready, blend the 1 cup water into the blueberries until.smooth. Add 2t cashew mixture to the blueberries and blend. Season to taste. Ladle out and garnish with the remaining cashew mixture, either in a dollop or in a nice paisley design.

Chickpeas, kale, and kamut with red pepper, olives, and capers

Dressed with garlic, chili and tamari, this is a simple, vibrant dish with no added oil or sugar but lots of flavour.

Ingredients

For the chickpeas, kale and kamut
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup kamut
2 cups green kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
2 red peppers (about 1 1/2 cups), 1/2″ dice
1 cup cooked chickpeas

For the dressing
2 scallions, minced
1T fresh garlic, minced
1T tamari
1T lemon juice
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1T kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1T pickled capers, minced
1t nori flakes
1t purple dulse flakes
2T cold-milled brown flax seed
1/4t dried red chilis (or to taste)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: Chopped walnuts, sliced ripe pear, clementines, sauteed mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, will all add flavor, texture and nuance to this dish. Roasting the chickpeas separately with a little tamari and chili or the dulse and nori will also add nuance.

Directions

In a small sauce pan with a lid, toast the kamut for 2-3 minutes. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until the water is absorbed and the kamut is soft by nicely chewy (expect about 1 hour). You could reduce cooking time a little by soaking the grain overnight.

While the kamut is finishing up, assemble the kale, red pepper and kale in a large bowl. When the kamut is ready, increase heat to medium high, add the scallions and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the chickpeas, toss to coat, and stir fry for another minute. Add the lemon and tamari. Deglaze the pan. Remove from heat. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Add the kamut and chickpeas to the kale and red peppers and toss to combine.

Let stand 5 minutes to wilt the kale lightly. Season to taste. Dish out and serve.

 

 

Brown lentil, toasted millet bowl with spinach, kale, and sun-dried tomatoes

Stir fried with tamari, garlic, scallions and embellished with spiral cut carrots, raisins, milled flax seed, and nutritional yeast, this is a simple to prepare and nutritious dish. Makes a large bowl for 2 or a filling side dish for 4.

Ingredients

For the lentils and millet
2 cups water
1/3 cup dry brown lentils
1/3 cup hulled millet
1 ‘sprig’ kombu (about 1″)

For the sauce
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (dehydrated, not jarred)
1/2 cup boiling water
2 scallions, finely chopped
1T fresh garlic, minced
1T tamari

For spinach and kale
2 cups packed baby spinach
1 cup packed kale, stemmed coarsely chopped
1/4 cup raisins (I use sultana)
About 1 cup, spiral cut carrots

For the garnish
2T cold milled brown flax seed
2T nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: A little lemon or lime juice will add some sour flavour. Some chopped olives will add some additional flavour and fat. A mix of orange and purple carrots, a little spiral cut golden or red beet will add a lot of colour and some additional nutrition.

Directions

Start the millet and lentils, and then assemble the rest of the bowl. In a small pan with a lid, toast the lentils and millet for about 3 minutes (stirring frequently). Add the water and kombu. Bring the pan to a light boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, remove the kombu, and let fluff about 5 minutes.

At about the 15 minute mark, bring half a cup of water to a boil and add it to the the sun-dried tomatoes to rehydrate. Set aside.

While the lentils and millet are fluffing, add the spinach, kale and raisins to a large bowl. Using a spiralizer or a mandoline, cut the carrots in fine, noodle like shapes, Or if you prefer, use a box grater to grate, or use a knife to cut matchsticks. Mix the milled flax seed and nutritional yeast.

When the millet has fluffed, bring the pan back to heat on medium heat. Add the tamari, the water from the sun-dried tomatoes, the scallion, and the garlic. Stir fry for about 2 minutes until the water has been absorbed.

Add the millet and lentils to the greens and stir
thoroughly to combine. Sprinkle in the the nutritional yeast and flax seed. Stir to combine. Let stand about 5 minutes to wilt the greens lightly. Season to taste, bowl out, and serve!

Mint chocolate, chocolate chip frozen dessert

Ingredients

3 medium frozen bananas (about 2 cups)
2T cocoa (I use a fair trade, Dutch-processed brand)
1/4t mint extract (or to taste)
10g mint chocolate, chipped (I use a fairly traded, organic bar)
Sweeten to taste with dates, stevia, maple syrup, or agave nectar

Optional: 1t powdered maca root. Trade the bar chocolate for chocolate chips if you prefer. About 1/4 cup pitted, chopped dates or a few tablespoons of maple syrup should be sufficient.

Directions

Blend the bananas,mint extract, and cocoa. Sweeten to taste and blend smooth. Chip the chocolate. Add 1/2 of the chocolate to the bananas and stir to combine. Spoon out, garnish with the remaining chocolate, and serve.

Vanilla flax and chia pudding with raspberries

Flax and chia are very nutrient dense — and no danger of sprouting.

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened plant milk
2T chia seeds (I use black)
1T cold-milled brown flax meal
1/2t pure vanilla extract
A pinch coarse sea salt
Sweetener to taste (stevia, maple syrup, coconut sugar, agave nectar, etc)
1/2 cup frozen raspberries

Optional: 1t powdered maca root. Blueberries,
blackberries, strawberries, etc., will all work fine, as will fresh berries. Different sweeteners will affect the texture and colour.

Directions

Mix the flax, chia, plant milk, vanilla and sea salt. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature, stirring
periodically. Sweeten to taste, cover and refrigerate for about 8 – 10 hours. When the pudding is ready, the seeds will be puffed and the texture will be thick. Stir to homogenize, garnish with berries, and serve.