Thursday, October 8, 2015

Harvest Chocolate Tart (gluten free, vegan)

Ok so let's start with a confession --I'm not crazy for pumpkin. I'm more of a butternut squash girl. I guess I'm just not that basic.

Would you believe me if I said I thought pumpkin was meant to be hidden in desserts instead of featured? I occasionally like it on the sidelines but something about it rubs me the wrong way as soon as its a focal point -- like in pumpkin pie. Though I have come to tolerate pumpkin pie, I have never loved it. Butternut Squash Pie though...after today's recipe that is definitely something I'll be tinkering with. I made this pie for me and my husband this weekend. It was our anniversary last week but I was too under the weather to celebrate. For our little celebration activity we went indoor skydiving -- it was not my cup of tea. I'd rather just eat some pie! But I like to face fears (like my fear of heights), and with my husband around I find its easier to work up the nerve to try some new and often terrifying things. I didn't last as long as I had hoped in the chamber -- with my super stuffed up nose I just couldn't breathe in there and it eventually freaked me out too much so I bailed and felt a bit like a pitiful baby for it. I transferred my extra time in the chamber to my husband. I just didn't want to do it again. To be honest I should have seen that coming -- I'm much more of a second time's a charm kind of person in many ways. I'll probably try it out again and force myself to stay in there a lot longer and be more open to the experience. But this time around I just wasn't up to it and that's fine. 

This pie is a bit like that little anecdote. You see, I've made a few desserts with butternut squash in the past that I absolutely loathed. Back then I used canned butternut squash. BIG MISTAKE -- it just tastes like metallic and slightly rotten squash puree. Luckily I had a little faith in my favourite Fall vegetable. Knowing that butternut squash is naturally sweet and effortlessly transforms into a velvety cream for sauces, soups, sides, it clearly deserved a second chance in dessert.
This Harvest Chocolate Tart gets its creamy filling from - you guessed it - butternut squash. And before you say 'ew gross', let me tell you something -- this pie is fantastic. Creamy, with a deep dark chocolate filling and a dark chocolate shortbread crust. This gluten free and vegan double chocolate pie hides THREE CUPS OF VEGGIES and is kind of a winner. Let's just all stop to acknowledge that -- 3 cups of veggies in a pie! A pie that tastes like a double chocolate tart! I should add that my husband paid me a great compliment on this dessert -- and I quote -- "This is just a really good pie -- NOT just really good for gluten free. This is just really, really good pie." I'll take that! Doubt me if you must but don't knock it till you try it, man. Oh by the way -- its super easy to make. The filling is just steamed and pureed butternut squash blended with a few healthy vegan ingredients.
The dark chocolate crust is also gluten free and super simple to make. I just whiz it together in my food processor. I don't even bother to roll out the pastry -- it just gets gently pressed into a tart pan and flash baked. 

Once your crust is cool from the oven, pour in the filling, spread it out to the edges and chill. It sets firm in the freezer and stays firm in the fridge. Dessert done.

This pie did not last long -- only about a day and half between us. That says it all for me because chocolate these days tends to make me uncomfortably wired so I try to minimize my consumption of chocolatey desserts -- but I just couldn't hold back on this one! Enjoy!


  • 1 1/3 - 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 5-6 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 4-5 tbsp solid coconut oil
  • Pinch pink salt
  • 3-4 tbsp raw cacao powder
Preheat oven to 350F. Add all the crust ingredients (Only add 1 1/3 cup of brown rice flour and 3 tbsp of cacao powder at first) to a food processor and pulse until a crumbly mixture forms. Pulse in the cold water (a little splash at a time) until a semi firm but not very dry dough forms (should feel similar to play-dough and have a slight sheen). If your dough gets too wet, add extra flour and cacao and pulse again  to incorporate. Taste and add extra sugar if desired and pulse a few times again to incorporate it. Press the dough into a 9-10" non stick shortcrust tart shell by hand. Prick all over with a fork and bake in the center of the oven (350F) until crisp. Cool to room temperature on stove-top while you prepare the filling.


  • 3 cups butternut squash, cubed and steamed until tender
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp vegan chocolate chips
  • 4 tbsp coconut cream (skimmed from can of coconut milk)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt (not too little as it really brings out the chocolate flavor)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp raw honey OR brown rice syrup (to keep it vegan)
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • Stevia to taste
Puree together the squash and coconut oil in food processor. In a small pot, melt chocolate chips and coconut cream together over low heat, stirring well as you melt. Add to the quash mixture and puree in your food processor. Add remaining ingredients (except stevia) and puree. Taste and add stevia (a little at a time, blending and tasting) to achieve your desired sweetness.

Once filling is blended and smooth and sweetened to your taste, scrape filling out of processor into the middle of your cool tart shell. Spread out evenly to the sides. Chill in freezer to set firm then store in the fridge to keep firm but sliceable. Slice and serve.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Vegan chickn' with mashed potatoes, gravy and greens (gluten free, soy free, nut free)

A little bit colder now. A little bit colder now.  A little bit colder now. A little bit warmer now!

Sorry for anyone who didn't get that reference. The sentiment is intact though I think -- its a little bit colder now in my part of the world! Some people mutter expletives as they realize this but not me! Though I'm not a big fan of winter, Fall has always had my heart. With Fall comes baking, and apples, and mashed potatoes with gravy...and other deliciousness. To honour the changing of the seasons I decided to remove my air conditioner and make a vegan (soy-free) roast dinner!

Today's recipe made me insanely happy. Like grinning from ear to ear happy. Why? Because I don't eat soy or gluten (I am allergic) so there are few to no mock meats for me on the market. I actually like it that way for a few reasons. When I became vegetarian I did not yet know I was allergic to soy or wheat so I ate a LOT of fake meat as I transitioned. Why? I blame laziness and having no clue how to assemble a proper plant based meal without the alternatives I found. I ate a lot of tofu, 'ground round', and fake chicken. I'm not totally knocking these things -- I just think they should be consumed in moderation if at all. I think whole foods should be the basis of a healthy lifestyle and everything else should just be, well, gravy. I honestly don't miss the mock foods much -- they never tasted like meat to me, just like fast food meat which I always thought was gross anyway. But load up a veggie burger with toppings and you won't find yourself to jealous of your family members at a summer barbeque! Once I discovered my allergies I quickly began to make my own vegan meat replacements -- mostly based on beans. These are pretty good but honestly beans hurt my stomach. I really try to limit them these days. Today's recipe is totally different. I have been a fan of roasted cauliflower as a substitute for chicken for awhile now. I'm not saying its a dead ringer for meat but I really enjoy making the swap. I use cauliflower as the base of today's 'chick'n' dish but I don't roast it -- I steam it! Why? Because to me what I loved most about chicken when I ate it was the moist yet firm texture of the meat and the savoury flavour. Roast cauliflower is not moist at all -- its dry and crunchy. Therefore not a great match for roast chicken. Steamed cauliflower however is moist, firm and not crunchy at all. Now I assure you I'm not crazy. I know what chicken tastes like and I know that steamed cauliflower is not an obvious substitute. But steamed cauliflower coated in brown gravy, onions and chives? Pretty amazing alternative in my books! In fact it is the most satisfying alternative to roast chicken that I've ever had (mock meat not included and no I haven't tried beyond meat and cannot try it so bear with me here).

What's roast chicken without potatoes? Today's accompanying dish is a winner. If you don't like potatoes because of their high starch high carb profile, you might like this recipe. It's also lighter than mashed potatoes (and more delicious in my opinion). In my version, potatoes team up with cauliflower to create a smooth and creamy mash. No dairy (butter or cow's milk) is used --  just healthy coconut milk and a splash of extra virgin olive oil. I add lots of garlic as well and some fresh chopped chives for flavour and colour. This velvety smooth mash is delicious on its own but awesome with some easy vegan brown gravy. In fact this entire recipe was inspired by a vegan 'beef' bouillon cube...

Ok so the backstory on the cube -- I found these 'beef' flavoured vegan bouillon cubes at my local health food store. I always look but leave empty handed because most contain wheat or soy or both. These contain neither! Plus the ingredients aren't too shabby at all --  virtually fat free, low in sodium, loaded with dehydrated unsulpherised veggies and spices, a little non-active yeast and molasses. I brought them home and immediately made a cup of broth from one and to my amazement it really tasted like beef broth (consume). I knew I needed to make gravy.

 This gravy is light and so easy to make. Basically you sweat some onions, add water and the boullion cube, thicken it all with a roux of rice flour, buckwheat flour and water and add some extra spices and a touch of coconut milk. It only takes a few minutes to make and is so so so good! The gravy is what makes the "chickn" dish taste like roast chicken. In fact I like it BETTER than roast chicken! Why? No dry meat! I hated dry meat my whole life -- hand me dark meat please. The cauliflower is ANYTHING BUT dry. Its moist and delicious, and once the gravy is on top its amazing and flavourful. But the real reason I love this meal so much is that for years as a vegetarian, roast chicken  has been the one omni meal I missed (and the one I broke my own rules for once a year). In my opinion its hard to fake and as far as cravings go, hard to make vanish (especially during the holiday season). But for the last year or two I have been totally abstaining from meat whether or not I crave it. I just think the industry is awful and I don't want to support it in any way. This usually results in me feeling a little bummed during the holidays. I'm usually relegated to gravy-free sides unless I make my own (which I often do at home). I still often feel like the meal is incomplete when there's no chicken but now I know that I'll be reaching for this cauliflower dish instead with no regrets!

Even though the whole meal is plant based as it is, I felt the need to add some greens for balance. I simply steamed some kale and topped it with this really rad dill dressing. The combo makes for  a really healthy flavourful green veggie dish. To add a little colour and punch I added some sriracha because hot sauce.

If you are vegan and avoid soy, I strongly encourage you to at least try out the cauliflower 'chickn'. You may love it. If you are an omni eater unsure what to feed a vegan or vegetarian this holiday season, I think a lot of people would appreciate a meal like this.

Vegan chickn' with mashed potatoes, gravy and greens (gluten free, soy free, nut free)

  • 2-3 cups water
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp evoo
  • 1 vegan 'beef' bouillon cube (I used a low sodium vegan 'beef' bouillon cube from Pastariso, a really good gluten free option)
  • 1 tbsp coconut milk
  • a few cranks of black pepper
1 tsp brown rice flour + 1 tsp buckwheat flour+ 1 tbsp water (mixed into a slurry)
Add oil to a small soup pot, heat over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add water and bring to a simmer. Add bouillon cube and mix well until dissolved. Add the slurry mixture and stir very well to dissolve. Once mixture is thickened to your preferred consistency add the coconut milk and whisk in. Add as much pepper as you like and whisk. Reduce heat while you prepare everything.
  • 1-2 cups cauliflower florets
  • Half of the gravy
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • Black pepper
  • Steam cauliflower until totally tender. Place in a bowl with gravy and stir well to coat. Top with chopped chives and a little pepper.
  • 3 small potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cauliflower florets
  • Garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tsp evoo
Boil your potatoes and cauliflower together until the potatoes are soft and mashable. Add to a food processor along with coconut milk and oil and salt and pepper. Pulse until everything is mostly smooth and creamy. Add half of the chives and pulse to incorporate. Scrape onto your plate, top with half of the gravy and the other half of the chives.

  • 2-3 leaves chopped kale or swiss chard
Serve everything with some steamed mixed vegetables or steamed green vegetables. I added some of my creamy dill salad dressing to my greens for colour and flavour.

  • 1  ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp coconut cream or coconut milk
  • 1/8 cup water
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • handful fresh dill
  • squeeze of lemon
Blend everything together in a blender and adjust spices to your taste. Chill if not using immediately. Makes a delicious salad dressing. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Indian Fusion Green Tacos (gluten-free, vegan, grain-free)

It's too hot oven will be used today...Thank goodness for green tacos.

I love tacos -- especially "green tacos".  Basically it consists of taco inspired fillings wrapped inside collard greens...I've experimented with many different fillings for wraps like these, from raw to cooked, and I always enjoy them. 

Green tacos are a perfect summer meal because of their minimal cooking time. If your home is anything like mine, your thermostat will skyrocket when you use the oven in August. This is why you may have noticed very few desserts on my blog this summer. It's just too damn hot to bake right now.
I promise when the leaves start to change I'll be back at it again though, I don't last long without dessert...

I call these tacos Indian fusion because they merge elements of Mexican and Indian cooking. Mexican and Indian cuisine have some major similarities when it comes to key ingredients and spices. Cumin, lime, chili, mango, garlic, tomato and beans feature prominently in both. So I used these ingredients plus a few distinctly Mexican and Indian ingredients to create these wraps. Oregano and avocado are two heavily used ingredients in Mexican food so I threw them into the mix. I countered my Mexican ingredients with some Indian staples -- turmeric, mango chutney and coconut milk. 

The "meat" in these tacos is basically a lentil dahl spiced with Mexican and Indian spices, and thickened with coconut cream. Its really flavourful, creamy and delicious. The meat is topped with mango chutney for a sweet flavour contrast and a smooth vegan "sour cream" made from avocado and coconut.

Try these tacos on a hot summer day.

Lentil "Meat":

  • 1.5 cans lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp evoo
  • 1/2 small white onion
  • My Spice Blend (see below for My Spice Blend recipe) or SUBSTITUTE 2 tsps of a store-bought Indian spice blend
  • 2 carrots, very finely grated
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • Squeeze of lemon

Grab a pot. Heat oil over medium heat. Saute onions in the oil until translucent. Add grated carrot, chopped tomato, and spice blend and saute a minute. I like lots of spices but the measurements above are more modest... Add tomato paste and lentils and coconut milk and lemon and mix well. Simmer for a few minutes. Taste, adjust seasonings and salt to your taste. Serve as 'meat'.

1 tsp or more Garlic powder (lots), 1 tsp or more Cumin, a couple cranks of pepper, a pinch of oregano, a dash of cayenne or hot sauce, a few dashes turmeric, a pinch of pink salt

Avo-Coco "Sour Cream":

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 large avocado
  • SPICES: Garlic powder (to taste), Salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Squeeze of lime or lemon

To serve:

  • Avo-coco sour cream (easy recipe above) OR substitute store-bought vegan sour cream
  • Store-bought mango chutney
  • Washed and dried collard green leaves
  • Hot sauce or sriracha

Puree or mash by hand all 'sour cream' ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

ASSEMBLY: Fill the center of each collard leaf with a bit of the lentil meat, sour cream, mango chutney and hot sauce. Fold or wrap and eat like a soft taco. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Kale Burgers and Fat-Free Fries (vegan, low-fat, gluten-free, grain-free)

I have always been a burger loving lady. When I was a kid, my favourite meal out was a burger from this great diner near our house. My dad would take me on weekends -- it was our special thing...

I haven't eaten red meat in about ten years, but I eat burgers all the time! Bean burgers! Last night was one of those times. I knew I wanted a burger, but I wanted to try something a little different. Intrigued by a recipe from one of my favourite bloggers -- Minimalist Baker -- I decided to throw some kale in my burger mix. Dana from Minimalist Baker threw some collard greens in her falafels and they looked awesome so I wanted to see if kale would work in my bean burger. It totally did! It also made them much healthier.

I search for vegan burger recipes semi-regularly online. I'm always curious what others are doing since there are so many variations on veggie burger ingredients (mushrooms, nuts, beets, quinoa, beans, tofu and on and on...). I have tried my hand at a few and I always come back to bean burgers. I love that they resemble the burgers I remember from my childhood, are full of protein and fibre, and are low in fat. Even though these burgers squeeze in a ton of kale and yellow beet, they look a lot like burgers when they bake! They also hold together well without a binder.

What burger would be complete without fries? I love fries -- healthy fries especially. My recipe for garlicky baked fries is fat-free, oil-free, and can be salt-free. I eat these ALL the time. Just pure potato love. They are crispy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside without frying or oil!

Though lentils, chickpeas and black beans are my usual preferred veggie burger pulses, I tried a new combo of red kidney beans and lentils this time. So good! The kidney beans really hold everything together in the recipe.

Put this healthy meal disguised as a burger and fries on your table this week. 

Kale Burgers 
(vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, grain-free)
  • 1 can brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 leaves green kale
  • 1/2 small white onion
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tsp cumin
  • A crank or pinch of black pepper
  • 1 cup grated red or yellow best
  • 1-2 tsp evoo
  • 1-2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Add the beets, kale, spices and onion to a food processor and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. Add the beans and pulse to incorporate evenly. Add the lentils and pulse through evenly. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 450F. Form parties with the bean mixture and arrange evenly on the parchment paper. Steam your potatoes for the fries and bake both trays together.

Fat Free Fries
(vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, fat-free, grain-free)

  • New potatoes (as many as desired)
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt (optional)

Wash and quarter your potatoes. Steam for about 4-5 minutes until slightly tender but not totally cooked through. Arrange the steamed potato slices evenly on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little garlic powder and any other spices you like on fries (cumin, cayenne etc but add salt after they fries are ready only). Bake in the oven for 10-15 mins along with the tray of burgers. If after this time the fries aren't crispy and blistered, remove the bean patties from the oven, turn up the heat to broil and let the fries cook for just a couple minutes (1-4) on their own (checking often to ensure parchment paper doesn't burn). Once fries have blistered edges, remove from oven and serve. I enjoy unsalted fries but feel free to add a little salt after baking.

Burger Fixings:
  • Savoy cabbage leaves or burger buns
  • Condiments: Ketchup, vegan mayo, mustard, bbq sauce, relish (whatever you like on your burger!)
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped lettuce
For my burgers, I rinsed and patted dry a few savoy cabbage leaves. Spread a little mayo inside each leaf. Topped the mayo with tomato slices, a little salt and pepper, chopped lettuce, a burger patty or two, ketchup.  Eat like a taco...

Monday, July 6, 2015

Super Creamy Mac and Cheese (Vegan, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Soy-free, potato-free)

 Who doesn't like mac and cheese (or shells and cheese in this case)? 

I have spent a lot of time trying to create great stove-top vegan mac and cheese that doesn't involve soy, commercial vegan cheese products, gluten or nuts. I think I finally have a winner in this fairly easy recipe.

Most vegan mac and cheese recipes out there involve one or more of the following ingredients: soy, cashews or other nuts, potatoes. I am allergic to soy, sensitive to nuts and find potatoes on top of pasta a bit too starchy for my taste. My new simple stove-top mac and cheese recipe is loaded with healthy veggies and good-for-you omega fats. Instead of cashews in this recipe I opted to use hemp hearts. Hemp hearts are a superfood. They offer the optimal balance of omega fatty acids. They are also high in fiber and quite delicious! Blended together with steamed veggies (cauliflower, butternut squash), nutritional yeast, mustard, lemon, spices, coconut oil, olive oil and rice milk, they create a delicious creamy "cheese" sauce. I then heat up the sauce with al dente gluten free brown rice pasta on the stove-top where it all gets decadently thick and creamy. The end result is some serious omnivore-husband-approved mac and cheese. Seriously. I made it for myself, gave him a taste and had to fight to get it back!

Make this mac and cheese for yourself, but make lots in case you have to share.

(Vegan, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Soy-free, potato-free)

  • Gf pasta (shells or macaroni), as much as you desire to make keeping in mind that the sauce recipe is perfect for two servings of pasta (double the sauce recipe if necessary for a family meal)
Semi-cook your pasta until its still quite al dente. It will continue to cook with the sauce later so do not overcook, it should have a nice bite to it. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Strain semi-cooked pasta and add to a dry pot. Set aside while you make sauce.

  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup chopped butternut squash
Steam together until tender then add to a blender with the following ingredients:
  • 1 cup water
  • garlic powder and onion powder (to taste)
  • Pink salt or sea salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Lemon juice (to taste)
  • 1 cup rice milk (unflavored)
  • 1-2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp evoo
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • Fresh cracked Black pepper (to taste)
  • 1-2 tbsp nooch
  • 1/4 tsp cumin and 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking water
Puree everything together until super smooth.

Pour sauce over the pasta in the pot and bring to a simmer. Taste. Add more of any spices you desire (garlic powder, onion powder, salt) until you are satisfied with the flavour (vegan mac n cheese requires a delicate balance of flavors). This recipe NEEDS salt so don't leave it out and don't be too shy with it.

I like this Mac thick and creamy so I cooked it over low heat for awhile to really thicken it up. If it gets too thick add more rice milk and stir. Make sure you don't overcook your pasta though. Once finished I added extra black pepper.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Green Tacos and Taco Salad

You may have noticed I have not been posting super often lately. One reason is that I have been working basically seven days a week and sometimes I just want to relax, watch tv, live life. Another is that my eating habits are changing. I have been feeling much healthier eating mostly raw vegan food and less healthy eating cooked and baked foods. I have not eliminated those foods, but they are becoming much more occasional, and much less habitual.

Today's taco recipe is a typical cooked meal for me these days. It involves both raw and cooked food. It is oil-free and much lower in sodium and fat than a traditional taco, grain-free and corn-free. It is, as usual, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free.

These Green Tacos are really delicious and offer a nice dose of plant protein and fresh vegetables. I chose to use collard greens as the shells instead of tortillas -- they are incredibly good for you and loaded with important minerals like calcium.

If you don't care for tacos, the fillings also taste delicious on top of salad greens. I had a lot of extra vegan taco "meat" and other toppings after I made two giant tacos, so I threw the rest on top of some romaine lettuce and baby kale to make a delicious taco salad! All in all, this is a really filling, healthy and delicious meal.


  • 1 can brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1-2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp chopped white onion
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 0.5 tsp turmeric
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • Pinch chili powder
  • Squeeze of lemon or lime
  • 1 roma tomato, chopped

In a pot over medium high heat, water saute OR oil saute your onions. Once translucent, add your tomatoes and cook for a minute. Add the spices and lentils and a little water. Simmer for 10 minutes while you prepare your other fillings.

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen peeled and chopped butternut squash
  • garlic powder (to taste)
  • 1 tsp of cumin 
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • squeeze of lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tsp vegan mayo (optional)
Steam the squash until soft and mashable. Add all ingredients to a food processor and puree until smooth OR add to a mixing bowl and puree with a stick blender OR add to a mixing bowl and mash and mix everything very well with a fork.

  • 1 yellow beet, grated with a cheese grater
  • Oil free salsa, or your favourite salsa
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced into long thin slices
  • 1/4 English cucumber (grated with a cheese grater) (optional)

OPTIONAL: vegan mayo or vegan sour cream (leave out to reduce fat and oil)


Once every component is prepared, wash and pat dry your collard leaves and add some lentils down the middle, leaving lots of room around the edges. Top with some avocado slices and as much of the other toppings as you want. Wrap like a burrito and enjoy.

  • Salad greens (as much as you desire)
  • Taco "Meat"
  • Other Fillings
  • Squeeze of lime or lemon
  • Garlic powder
Add your salad greens to a large bowl. Drizzle with lemon or lime juice and a couple shakes of garlic powder. Then top with all of your taco fillings and vegan taco "meat". Enjoy!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Fruity Nice Cream Sundae

Sometimes you just need want an ice cream nice cream sundae. 

There was a time in my life that I went out for an ice cream sundae without fail every single week. Even in the winter! I've had a life-long ice cream addiction that veganism has nearly broken. Why? Well, most vegan ice cream sucks is just ok. The ice cream I am was addicted to is was the real deal. The cream of the crop.

I made myself stop eating ice cream for several reasons:
  • Its full of refined sugar. 
  • Its often full of additives I cannot identify.
  • Its not vegan.
  • Its addictive and made me feel sick after eating it.
  • The dairy industry no longer gets my dollars.
  • The temporary satisfaction it provides isn't worth the days of bloating and discomfort.
  • It gave me nightmares.
  • It made my asthma worse.
For all you diehard  ice cream fans, I apologize. I know when something isn't sitting well with me and I listen to my body. If ice cream is ok with you, I respect your choices in life.
Today's recipe is for what I reach for when that undeniable  ice cream craving hits. I like to whip up a batch of nice cream. For those of you unfamiliar with "nice cream",  I'm referring to homemade fruit "ice cream". The name is a little misleading since its mostly made of blended frozen fruit. For best results I highly recommend using a food processor. A blender or stick blender will work in a pinch but you may have to add a little liquid (nut milk or coconut water) to make it blend smoothly. I find this really waters down the flavour and texture.

Nice cream has been a favourite of mine for many years. A lot of its early proponents said that it had to involve a nut butter to be creamy and decadent. I totally disagree. I find its just as good fat free, just blended fruit and a touch of sweetener if necessary (particularly for sour fruits like raspberries).

I make nice cream all the time for breakfast and dessert. I find it almost as satisfying as real ice cream without the nasty side effects. 

To make this recipe into an ice cream sundae, I made a raw chocolate magic shell to layer between two nice cream flavours. The shell is so easy to make, especially in the summer when coconut oil tends to liquify. 

For ice cream flavours I chose vanilla and raspberry. For the vanilla I blended frozen banana with vanilla extract and a raw sweetener until smooth and thick. For raspberry I just blended frozen raspberries and stevia. For the chocolate coating I stirred together liquid coconut oil with raw cacao powder and raw honey (which I know is not vegan but I consume it occasionally for its beneficial impact on my chronic inflammation). Feel free to use maple syrup or coconut nectar in its place.

This "sundae" is not quite the real deal but its pretty damn delicious and healthy. Give it a try!

Nice Cream Sundae

Raspberry Nice Cream
  • 1-2 cups frozen raspberries
  • stevia to taste

Add your raspberries to a food processor and blend until totally smooth and creamy, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides and continue blending. Once blended, add a little stevia, blend and taste. Add as much as needed to sweeten it to your taste.

Vanilla Nice Cream
  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 1 tsp liquid sweetener (raw honey, maple syrup, coconut nectar, agave)
  • teeny tiny pinch pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until totally smooth and creamy, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides and continue blending.

Raw Chocolate Shell
  • 2 tbsp liquid virgin coconut oil (heat solidified coconut oil in a pan over low heat until melted)
  • 2 tsps or more raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp liquid sweetener (raw honey, maple, agave, coconut nectar)
  • teeny tiny pinch pink salt
Whisk or stir all ingredients together until totally smooth. 

Grab a two clean jam jars or wide short glasses and add some raspberry ice cream to each, filling each container half full. Top with a couple spoonfuls of chocolate sauce. Fill the rest of the containers with the vanilla ice cream and top it with more chocolate sauce. Place in the freezer for a few minutes to harden the chocolate sauce. Enjoy.