Friday, February 27, 2015

Vegan "Burger Pizza"


When I made this recipe I was trying to create a protein packed vegan light pizza crust. The result was this Vegan Burger Pizza. What is that?
  • A vegan Burger Crust base
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Vegan Butternut Cheeze Sauce
  • Vegan Pizza Toppings

The crust gets lost between pizza crust and veggie burger. It is firm around the edge but becomes almost like dense chili in the middle of the "pizza". Grab a napkin, this is a very messy and delicious meal!



This is a hearty yet figure friendly comfort food meal. Let's talk crust shall we? This pizza crust is made of zucchini, lentils, quinoa and buckwheat. All suprefoods in their own right, all suitable for a healthy diet. This is not a pizza "dough". You don't roll or stretch it out. You spread it with a spoon and it bakes into whatever shape you give it. How easy is that?! This is also a high protein and high fibre crust (no not high protein when compared to a protein shake, but definitely offers more protein than traditional pizza crust). It is also high in fibre, low in fat, yeast-free and vegan!


The lentil crust is topped with healthy vegan pizza toppings like peppers, swiss chard, green olives and more lentils. A goeey cheeze sauce tops it all and is made from light but creamy butternut squash. The recipe is very easy to make and super comforting for a healthy meal. If a veggie burger and a vegan pizza had a baby, this would be it.

Enjoy!


Lentil Quinoa Burger Pizza Crust
  • 1/2 can rinsed brown lentils
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/3 cup buckwheat flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp evoo
  • Pinch salt
  • OPTIONAL: For a firmer crust that doesn't fall apart like mind did in the middle, add 1 "flax egg" (1 tbsp ground flaxmeal mixed with 2-3 tbsp boiling water and allowed to gel (10 mins))

Preheat oven to 430F. Puree all ingredients until smooth in a blender or food processor (I used a large jar and an immersion blender). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour mixture into center and spreadout evenly into a 1/2" thick circle or rectangle shape. Bake in 430 oven until it looks like a crust (not wet). Prepare cheeze sauce while it bakes. Remove from oven.


Butternut Cheeze Sauce:

  • 1 cup peeled and seeded butternut squash, chopped and steamed till tender
  • 1 tbsp evoo
  • Pink salt
  • As much nooch as you like
  • Squeeze lemon
  • 1 tbsp coconut milk powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp buckwheat flour or tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Black pepper
  • Chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Puree until smooth in a food processor or blender (I used a large jar and an immersion blender). Set aside until ready to use while you prepare the sliced veggie toppings. This will be the cheeze sauce.


Pizza Toppings:

  • Sliced olives
  • Leftover lentils
  • Pizza sauce
  • Evoo
  • Oregano
  • Black pepper
  • Red bell pepper slices
  • Spinach or chard, chopped small
  • Cheeze
  • Thin Zucchini slices
  • nooch
Assembly:

Take the pre cooked crust and spread a layer of pizza sauce on top. Top with the zucchini slices and other toppings, then the cheeze sauce and olives.  I usually drizzle the whole thing with evoo, a sprinkle of nooch and black pepper. Place back in the 430F oven and cook until everything is hot and the edges of the pizza are crisp but not burned. Slice, serve, and enjoy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Zucchini Noodle Lasagna with Parsnip Cream, Lentils and Green Olives


This zucchini noodle lasagna is so delicious and healthy! Here are the great nutritious swaps this recipe makes when compared to ordinary meat lasagna:
  • zucchini replaces pasta
  • vegan soy-free parnsip cream replaces traditional cheese or bechamel
  • lentils replace beef
This recipe sort of fell together. I was making a late night dinner for me and my husband. Neither of us were very hungry but we wanted something that tasted nice without being too heavy. I decided to make a vegan zucchini noodle lasagna. I made a similar recipe in my cookbook Every Day Super(Food) but that recipe involves a more labor intensive "cheeze" sauce. I wanted something quick for this recipe. I created this easy to whip up parsnip cream sauce to use in place of the cheese or bechamel sauce used in traditional lasagna. What a delicious creation! 


 We were given several parnsips last week by one of my employers so I decided they may make a good base for a sauce in this recipe. I use parnsips in my healthy vegan alfredo sauce recipe so I thought that they might work well here too -- they totally did! They make a healthy and incredibly creamy vegan sauce that is anything but bland. I decided to make the sauce nutritional yeast free because my husband tries to avoid it as an ingredient. I was concerned the lasagna wouldn't taste cheezy enough but it totally does. What's so cool about the parsnip cream is that it browns under high heat in patches so when I added some on top of the lasagna and broiled it parts of the blobs of cream browned the way buffalo mozzarella does! So perfect.


If you make this recipe please follow it exactly. There is something magical about this particular combination of flavours. The olives in the lentil "meat" sauce add an extra umami taste that makes it so delicious. The pizza sauce instead of marinara adds lovely oregano flavour, and the parnsips add a subtle sweet and spiciness that is just lovely. I really loved this lasagna. I really hope you do too.

Zucchini Noodle Lasagna with Parnsip Cream, Lentils and Green Olives

For the "Noodles":
  • 2 very large zucchinis
Thinly slice the zuchinis lengthwise with a cheese slicer. Place in a colander to drain before using for a few minutes.
Tomato Sauce:
  • 1 can or small jar of Pizza sauce

Lentil "Meat" sauce:
  • 2 cans rinsed and drained canned brown lentils
  • 2 leaves Swiss chard, chopped small
  • 1/2 small white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp coconut milk powder
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • 8 green olives, chopped small
  • 2 tbsp evoo
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp onion powder
Sauté onions and garlic in half the oil until translucent. Add greens and let them sauté till wilted. Add remaining ingredients and heat together over high heat, stirring, until the mixture is thick. Turn heat off.
Parsnip Cream:
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped small and steamed until very soft
  • 1 tbsp evoo
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut milk powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Garlic powder
  • 1 cup water
  • Black pepper
  • Big pinch salt
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
Puree all ingredients together until silky smooth. Set aside.
Assembly:
Preheat oven to 400F.


Line a large lasagne pan with a sheet of parchment paper. Arrange 1/3 of the zucchini noodles on the bottom as you would lasagne noodles. Add a few tbsp of the cream sauce and spread out over the noodles. Then add a layer of 2/3 of the meat sauce. Top with next 1/2 the remaining noodles to cover then top with some more cream, lots of pizza sauce and the rest of the meat sauce. Add final layer of zucchini, then cover with tomato sauce and then dollops of the remaining cream. Drizzle with evoo and a few cranks pepper. 

Bake in a 400F oven for 10-15 mins, then broil on high for a few minutes until the parsnip cream dollops get slightly browned (should resemble cooked Buffalo mozzarella on a pizza). Serve.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Raw Vegan Single-Serving Cinnamon Roll


Ok wow. So I should start by saying this recipe makes me so happy. Just knowing a single-serving healthy cinnamon roll is only a few ingredients and a couple minutes away is just the stuff joy is made of. Am I right?!

This recipe is super minimalist in terms of ingredients, equipment and technique. A child could make this recipe. In fact please make this with your child this weekend if you have one!


  
Let's look at the ingredients for my raw vegan cinnamon roll, shall we?
  • coconut date rolls (ingredients: dates, coconut)
  • dates
  • cinnamon
 
No, I'm not kidding. These cinnamon roll are made with less than five all natural and gluten-free ingredients! These raw vegan cinnamon rolls are grain-free, vegan, gluten-free, paleo, nut-free, soy-free and vegan!



Now let's look at the vanilla glaze ingredients shall we?
  • vegan coconut milk powder (ingredients: dehydrated coconut milk, chicory)
  • coconut water
  • stevia
  • maple or raw honey or agave or coconut nectar
  • vanilla bean extract or powder
That's it for ingredients! This recipe also requires no expensive cooking tools! The only equipment you need is:
  • a plate
  • a knife
  • a bowl
  • a spoon
  • your hands
  • love
Did I mention you can make these in a couple of minutes?! You gotta try these! They are too good and way healthier than a Cinnabon!  




Raw Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Glaze:
  • 2 tbsp vegan coconut milk powder
  • 1.5 tsp coconut water (or more if you like)
  • a couple drops liquid stevia
  • a little vanilla bean extract or powder
  • 1 tsp maple or raw honey or agave or coconut nectar
Add all glaze ingredients to a small bowl. Stir very well with a spoon until a glaze forms. Set aside.

To make 1 Cinnamon Roll:
  • 2 coconut date rolls (I use the ones from Natural Delights, using date rolls stored at room temperature is best)
  • 1 large room temperature medjool date
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more)

Slice each date roll in half lengthwise. You should now have four pieces of date rolls. Press them together at the ends to make a longer roll. Flatten out the roll with your hands to make a long flat yet thick rectangle. 

Slice your date into four thin pieces. Arrange these on top of the rectangle and press gently together. Slowly roll up the log, gently pinching as you roll it into a cinnamon roll shape. Flatten the top slightly so it is level. Drizzle with glaze or pour glaze over the top and enjoy.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
These cinnamon rolls can be warmed in a steamer for a minute. They become warm and goey. To warm them up, make your roll(s) then place them in a steamer over simmering water for a minute or a little less. Remove, glaze and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Vegan Deluxe Pizza with GF Sweet Potato Crust

I have been craving PIZZA lately. But I don't think pizza is something I should eat often as it usually makes me queasy and I am not a fan of store bought vegan cheeze, so I created a few healthy pizza recipes to enjoy. This is my latest and greatest spin on vegan pizza, my Vegan Deluxe Pizza with gluten free Sweet Potato Crust!

I made this single serving pizza for myself for brunch on Sunday. It was so delicious. I think I can count the number of vegan pizzas I've made in my life on one hand so I was very impressed with myself when this turned out so well and totally crushed my pizza cravings. Did I mention this pizza is super healthy and gluten-free? It is! In fact its kind of like a huge serving of vegetables disguised as a pizza. What could be better than that?!



Like veggie burgers, I strongly believe that vegan pizzas are only great when loaded to the max with delicious toppings. Mine was buckling under a mass of veggies and a homemade vegan butternut squash cheeze sauce that I can't get enough of lately. If you try this recipe, I heartily encourage you to do the same and stick to veggies you already associate with pizza like olives, tomatoes, zucchini and peppers. You want to trick your brain a bit with familiar flavours and textures so I don't recommend piling on the fennel on such a pizza. Stick to the classics.

My second tip is use a good pizza sauce. I buy mine from an Italian company, and having been to Italy I can say that the flavour is authentic. Don't try to substitute plain tomato sauce unless you're going to add some oregano to it.

The crust of this pizza is really cool! It's full of healthy grain free and gluten free ingredients like golden yam, buckwheat and quinoa! It's also yeast-free! It offers some vegan protein and is way better for you than a giant ball of floury dough. Its very thin and soft yet firm. It gets crisp on the edges, golden brown on the bottom, and you can hold it by hand weighed down by toppings without it breaking apart! Win.


The cheeze sauce is a very healthy cheese substitute and very creamy. Its base is butternut squash which is a hearty tasting but surprisingly low calorie vegetable. It provides a nutty flavour and smooth base with a vibrant orange hue reminiscent of cheddar cheese. The nooch in the recipe is a must as it provides that cheezy flavour. You can swap it for miso if you prefer a milder cheeziness. I use tapioca starch in the recipe to hold the cheeze together slightly as it bakes, giving it the gooey quality of real cheese. I am not saying this tastes just like real cheese. It doesn't, but it tastes great and cheezy anyways and it goes really well on this pizza!

This recipe is a great healthy gluten free and vegan alternative to pizza. Give it a try!


VEGAN DELUXE PIZZA 

Sweet Potato Crust (grain-free, gluten free, vegan)
  • 1 cup golden yam (white sweet potato), peeled and chopped small and steamed or boiled until soft
  • 3 tbsp quinoa flakes
  • 2-3 tbsp buckwheat flour
  • pinch pink salt
  • 1 tbsp nooch
  • a few cranks black pepper
  • water to thin (about 1/2-2/3 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1.5 tsp coconut milk powder
  • 1-2 tbsp evoo
Preheat oven to 430F.
Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth and thick batter is created. Scrape onto the centre of a parchment paper lined baking sheet and spread out evenly into either a rectangle or circle. Try to make sure the batter is the same thickness across the shape you make with it. Thin is fine but see through is not, aim for 3/4" thickness at least. 

Bake in an oven until the edges brown and you can lift it easily off the paper when you raise a corner with your fingers. Make toppings and cheeze sauce while it bakes.This takes a bout 5-10 minutes.


Butternut Cheeze Sauce:

  • 1.5 cups peeled and chopped, steamed until soft
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp evoo or coconut oil
  • 2-4 tbsp nooch (depends on your taste) or 1-2 tbsp miso paste
  • water to thin
  • 1-2 tsp tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • a few cranks black pepper
  • pinch pink salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • chili powder or red hot (optional)
Puree all ingredients together until smooth and thick with an immersion blender or food processor or standard blender. Use cheeze as is or add a little water and blend to thin to a sauce that will cover the whole pizza (I add 1/4 cup water and blend well). Set aside until pizza crust is cooked.

Once pizza crust is cooked according to the instructions above, top with toppings and cheeze sauce.

Pizza Toppings:
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • chopped red onion
  • chopped kale
  • chopped green or black olives
  • tomato slices
  • zucchini slices
  • bell pepper slices
  • 1/2 an avocado, thinly sliced
  • prepared butternut cheeze sauce
  • a little nooch, evoo, garlic powder, chili powder or hot sauce and black pepper
Top the pizza base with tomato sauce, then your toppings of choice and finally the cheeze sauce. Return to the hot oven for a few minutes so everything gets hot and the crust cooks more. Slice and enjoy.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Summer Bowl


Do you ever find yourself craving light summery food in February? I definitely do. It's probably my body's way of saying, "put down the fries". I found myself feeling like that all week. I wanted green juices, salads, green wraps and zucchini noodles! I'm glad I listened to my body instead of eating my husband's leftover rice last night. Meet my Summer Bowl!


This bowl can be made semi-raw OR fully raw depending on your preference. It will leave you feeling nourished and refreshed either way. Its full if raw and vibrant vegetables, a light but creamy cucumber and tomato cream dressing, and a great array of textures and flavours. I put my new spiralizer to good use making spaghetti shaped noodles out of an English cucumber and a zucchini. I threw in some orange grape tomatoes, shredded savoy cabbage for crunch, and red bell pepper for colour and flavour. I love plain vegetables but I LOVE creamy sauce covered vegetables more. I would probably eat 2 heads of kale if it had the right dressing on it!

This bowl is really delicious. You need to make this, even if you're still in winter mode.If you're like me and you overdid it on chocolate this Valentine's Day, this Summer Bowl may be just the ticket to ease your body back into normal eating habits.

 This Thursday is Chinese New Year and the perfect day to enjoy long noodles as a symbol of health and long life.


Summer Bowl Base:


  • 1/2 large English cucumber spiralized, noodles drained after spiralizing to remove excess water
  • 1 large zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 small leaves savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup chopped raw OR steamed or black kale or green swiss chard
 Gently toss all Base ingredients together in a big serving bowl. Make dressing.


Summer Bowl Dressing:
  • 1 roma tomato, chopped small
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 2 tbsp soy-free vegenaise or for FULLY RAW version substitute 1/4 cup cashew cream (soaked cashews pureed with water OR sunflower seed cream swapping soaked sunflower seeds for cashews)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • tiny pinch pink salt (optional)
  • a few cranks black pepper
  • good squeeze of lime juice or orange juice (optional, I didn't use it but it would be good)
  • a little water if necessary to thin the sauce

To make this Dressing recipe fully raw, substitute cashew or sunflower seed cream for vegenaise. Using a hand blender or normal blender or a food processor, puree all sauce ingredients until smooth. Add a little water if necessary to get the blender to blend properly. Store in a jar in the fridge if you don't use the whole batch. Use as much dressing as you want on your Summer Bowl, but note that too much will make your noodles too soggy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bed Of Roses (Beet Noodles with Cauliflower Cream)




Just in time for Valentine's Day I bring you this super RED, super HEALTHY, vegan and gluten-free pasta recipe. I call this dish my Bed Of Roses because when I made these beet noodles and put them in a bowl they looked like a beautiful spirally bouquet of red roses. Luckily for you and me they didn't taste like flowers!

So there's a bit of a back story here. I bought a Paderno three blade spiralizer this weekend on sale for $30. I'm pretty stoked about it because up until recently I was enjoying my Vegigetti spiralizer almost daily! The difference is vast between the two. The Paderno model allows you to spiralize firmer vegetables like potatoes and carrots, or in the case of today's recipe, beets! 


I mean come on, how gorgeous are these beet spirals! Three different blades is a great feature too because it has introduced me to new shapes for my zoodles. I used the thickest blade for these gorgeous gigantic spirals.


Beets were not the first thing I tried though. I made sweet potato curly fries the same night I bought the spiralizer!
  
Now back to today's recipe.The flavour of this gorgeous pasta dish is all its own. The beet noodles provide a sweet earthiness with an al dente crunch, while the cauliflower cream is reminiscent of alfredo sauce though slightly thicker (and totally vegan!).




CONFESSION: This is my token Valentine's Day Recipe. As a blogger you feel a pressure looming over you when holidays are nearby. MUST MAKE SOMETHING PINK. That's what was whirring in the back of my brain all week. Luckily despite my crazy busy work schedule I managed to pull this themed recipe off!

If you have a special someone who likes to eat raw vegan or even just vegan, at least make them these gorgeous beet noodles! The sauce you choose is your call but I like the colour contrast from the white cauliflower cream sauce. You can also try my healthy vegan alfredo sauce.


I hope you give this recipe a try, these noodles really impressed me!


Bed Of Roses Pasta

For the Noodles:
  • 1 very large beet, spiralized using the largest blade

For the Cauliflower Sauce:
  • 1.5 cups chopped cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp evoo
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp coconut milk powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or more)
  • dash chili powder
  • pinch pink salt

Steam your cauliflower until tender. Add to a blender along with remaining ingredients and puree until very smooth. Pour into a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Pour over prepared beet noodles (I just poured the sauce into the center so most of the noodles were still visible, when I was ready to eat I mixed it up and the sauce turned pale pink).

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Vegan Pepperoni Pizza Zoodles (grain free, vegan, gluten free, nut free, dairy free, soy free)



This recipe...this recipe made my month! What a successful Baking Backwards experiment this was!



So I bet you are wondering what exactly vegan Pizza Zoodles are...well, they are wonderful! Here is what is going on in this epic zucchini noodle bowl:

  • zucchini noodle base
  • cheezy vegan sauce made mostly from vegetables ( NO nutritional-yeast, NO soy, NO seeds. NO nuts)
  • marinara sauce
  • homemade vegan pepperoni slices (purple carrot or beet based vegan meat!)
  • oregano and evoo drizzle for extra pizza flavour
I think everything in this bowl is totally delicious on its own. I debated eating the vegan cheezy sauce as a rich bowl of soup...luckily for you I had other plans!



This grain free healthy vegan pasta dish is very reminiscent of pizza flavours and textures. The vegan purple carrot "pepperoni" slices are worth their own blog post! Crispy on the edges, chewy in the middle, smokey, salty and slightly sweet. They are totally addictive and so much healthier than real pepperoni. Oh ya, they're also fat free!

The cheezy sauce is NOT your typical vegan cheeze sauce. It is nut free, grain-free, soy-free and seed free, and gluten-free. Most importantly it is yeast-free! I have never seen a cheeze recipe that didn't involve nutritional yeast. I know the flavour nooch offers is cheese-like and delightful but it really bothers my digestion and my husband actually refuses to eat it these days as he really does not want yeast in his diet if he can avoid it. I am mostly in the same boat so I was very very happy that this sauce still had a creamy, oozy cheeziness without the yeast.

I'm not sure why you're still reading this post and not making this pasta.

PIZZA ZOODLES

CHEEZE SAUCE and VEGAN PEPPERONI:
Roasted vegetables for CHEEZE SAUCE should be made at the same time as the vegetables in the "pepperoni"recipe on separate baking sheets.

Pepperoni:
  • 2 purple carrots or red beets or both, sliced into super thin but not see through thin pieces
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • A few cranks of fresh cracked Black pepper
  • Pinch pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder 
Preheat oven to 430F
Toss your veg slices with remaining ingredients in a bowl to coat. Arrange evenly on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Roast in the hot oven. The pepperoni is done when it has roasted until it is crisp around edges but chewy in the middle.

Cheeze sauce roasted veg base:
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped butternut squash
  • 1/4 small red onion, peeled and chopped
Arrange these vegetables on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Roast in 430 F oven at the same time as the "pepperoni". Remove these vegetables when the squash is tender and soft.
 

Cheese Sauce steamed veg base:
  • 2 new potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
Steam the potatoes until tender. Add the peppers and steam till very tender. Remove from heat.
Cheese sauce base:
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp buckwheat flour (optional but makes a much oozier texture for the sauce)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp or more garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • Big pinch pink salt
  • 1-2 tsp sauerkraut brine
  • Small squeeze lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • Water to thin
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut milk powder
Heat the oil and flour together over medium heat until a paste forms. Add 1.5 cups water, the spices and stir well until mix is smooth and thickened. Add the roasted and steamed cheeze sauce vegetables. Cook together one minute then remove from the heat and puree in a blender or with a stick blender until as smooth as possible. At this point i added a little more water and blended it in to thin the sauce a bit. Return to the heat and add brine and lemon juice and coconut milk powder, stirring constantly until the mix is smooth again. Add extra coconut oil if desired and cook down the sauce until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the saltiness and garlic to your taste. To make it even cheesier add 1 tbsp nutritional yeast. Once satisfied, reduce heat to low and make your noodles.

Noodles:
  • 2 zucchinis
  • Tomato sauce
  • Oregano
  • Evoo
  • Pepper
  • Cheese sauce
  • Vegan "Pepperoni'
Spiralize your zucchinis. Divide between two large bowls. Divide cheeze sauce on top of each zoodle serving. Add a few spoonfuls of tomato sauce to each serving, not too much. Then divide the pepperoni slices between each serving on top. Sprinkle each bowl with a little oregano, black pepper and evoo. Serve immediately.