Wednesday, January 31, 2018

CURRIED CAULIFLOWER AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH.


This year for Christmas I received the most wonderful gift I never knew I wanted, a Breville Smart Oven Air. This thing really does it all - toasts, bakes, roasts, dehydrates and best of all, AIR FRIES! If you are someone who tries to limit the amount of oil in their diet, this air fryer will change your life. It is seriously the most magical kitchen appliance. Perfect fries, crispy brussel sprouts and any roasted veg you can imagine, all satisfyingly crunchy and golden brown with NO oil required.

That being said, I've been making a lot of air fried veggies recently - this recipe being no exception. You can certainly make it in your regular oven, you just may want to use a little oil to get the same texture.

This dish was inspired by an appetizer at a great local restaurant here in the Detroit area, Social Kitchen (hi chef Zack Sklar!). They have an awesome cauliflower appetizer with capers, raisins, almond butter, cilantro, brown butter vinaigrette - so yummy, but not vegan, and not necessarily the most calorie conscious. I tweaked it a bit to be a bit lighter, and plant based of course. I think you'll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't love this - it's kind of addictive!

Serve this alone as an appetizer, over a bed of grains (rice, quinoa or millet would be great!), or over a hearty green like kale, for a filling and nutritious plant based meal!

Monday, January 29, 2018

VEGAN-FRIENDLY SNOW BOOTS FROM COUGAR SHOES.

Cougar Shoes Layne Boots in Khaki 

Being vegan means considering more than just what we put on our plates, but also what we put on our bodies! Footwear can be especially challenging because so many shoes and boots contain animal products. This can go beyond just the obvious textiles like leather, suede and wool, but also the glues and dyes used.

This year I wanted to upgrade my winter footwear situation with some new boots and did a lot of research before deciding. Unfortunately, a lot of brands don't clarify if their shoes are in fact vegan. Initially I had ordered some Sorel boots, only to find they did have some leather detailing that wasn't mentioned online. I also looked into other companies like The North Face, Pajar, and Columbia, but again couldn't find any assurance that their synthetic styles were in fact vegan-friendly.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

INSTANT POT KABOCHA SQUASH SOUP.


Here is the midwest, it is undoubtedly peak soup weather - you may have caught on to this based on my last few recipes. Not only is soup super warming and comforting this time of year, I love making a big batch to enjoy all week. Doesn't soup just seem to get better over time?!

This recipe obviously goes right along with that thought process, and bonus - it can be on the table for dinner in under an hour. Really. God bless the inventor of the Instant Pot. If you don't have one, it's something I would really recommend investing in. It's so convenient for not only batch cooking for the week (steam potatoes or make big batches of beans and grains in minutes) but it also makes healthy cooking so much easier for those of us who have over-scheduled, hyper-busy lives.

Blending this soup makes it feel ultra luxurious and indulgent, when in actuality, it's super low in calories and fat (not that this is a big concern for a plant based diet). It's actually SOS (salt, oil and sugar) free!

I enjoy topping it with something creamy like vegan sour cream (shown here) or coconut cream, and something with a crunch like toasted pistachios (shown here) or pepitas.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

THE EASIEST SLOW COOKER MEXICAN CHILI


Recently I took a weekend trip with my dad. Now I love my dad, he's amazing, but his diet? Not so much. Since it was just the two of us, I knew I could have a little control over the meals, but wanted to be sure I made something that would be satisfying and somewhat familiar. The other prerequisites were that it had to be hearty enough for the Northern Michigan weather, and easy to make/transport.

That's how this Mexican Chili recipe was born! It's tasty and filling enough to satisfy any omnivore, but actually pretty healthy! The best part is how easy it is to throw together. It would make a perfect easy weeknight meal (throw everything in your crockpot in the AM), with plenty of leftovers for lunch the following day. You can get creative with the toppings too, so it really can suit everyone's taste.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

THE FLUFFIEST, 5 MINUTE VEGAN PANCAKES.


6 ingredients, 5 minutes! These pancakes are simple, super quick to the throw together and sooo fluffy! Could easily be made gluten free by swapping in an GF AP flour mix (I like Jessica's brand).

Thursday, January 11, 2018

SWEET & SAVORY KALE SALAD


Ok, if you haven't gathered by now - I'm kind of obsessed with kale. It's hard to go back to eating 'regular' lettuce in salad, once you fall in love with hearty, flavorful kale. This salad is inspired by one I often order from a favorite local restaurant, Mt. Chalet. You might not expect this sports bar to have a world rocking kale salad, but alas, my world has been rocked! In the restaurant, I usually top the sweet and savory salad with a black bean patty, but for the sake of time and ease, I've swapped in whole beans to my recipe.

The ingredients might not sound all that exciting, but I swear, it's a killer combo. I love the play on savory, sweet and tart flavor. Earthy kale, combined with the citrusy bite from the vinaigrette, a sweet pop from the golden raisins and salty crunch from garlicy black beans. It just works!

I've written the recipe to be broken down into 4 entree size servings, so it's great to prep ahead for lunches or easy weeknight dinners.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

30 MINUTE COCONUT CURRY DAL RECIPE


During the winter there is nothing more comforting than sitting down to a nice, hot bowl of nourishing food. Soup is great, but sometimes I crave something heartier and more filling, this is where my favorite dal recipe comes in! This is an adaptation of an 101 Cookbooks Coconut Red Lentil Soup recipe, that I have tweaked a bit and made my own. It's definitely one of my most frequently made winter dishes, is super simple and tastes great even after only a quick 30 minutes on the stove. I love to serve it over basmati rice, topped with sprouts, and (if I'm feeling extra indulgent) with a piece of naan.