I can’t believe the time has come.. tomorrow I officially fly out to Vancouver and begin my new so-called life. But first before I delve into that I want to recount the events from this past weekend. For those of you who don’t know my twin sister and I turned 25 on Friday. I spent the afternoon playing golf with my family then we all went out in the evening and had a lovely meal at Piazza downtown Oakville. Saturday Carly and I rented out this fantastic spot called The Wallflower on Dundas West where we had our closest friends and family come join us for dinner and drinks, it was truly the perfect send off. After a weekend of festivities I spent the last two days packing up the last of my belongings to ship out west. Things are definitely settling in for me now, its going to be a big transition from the new job, new place to a whole new city. I’m excited for the adventures that lie ahead, but I also would be lying if I said I wasn’t also a bit nervous. On that note, I wanted to let everyone know that I won’t be posting as many recipes until I get settled into my new space. In the meantime below I’ve shared a really tasty Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes recipe that is deliciously filled with quinoa, kale, red peppers, beets and feta. It’s the perfect addition to any fall or winter meal!
Lightly scrub the sweet potatoes and beets under cold running water. Meanwhile, on the stove top steam kale and cook quinoa.
Place the potatoes and lightly oiled beets and red peppers on a roasting tray and bake until tender, 35 minutes for the red peppers and 1 hour 15 minutes for the sweet potatoes and beets. Remove from the oven and allow the potatoes to cool slightly before cutting off the top third of the potatoes lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh using a large spoon (leave enough on the base so the skin holds its shape) and reserve bases.
Place cooked beets, potato flesh, kale, quinoa, feta and red peppers into bowl and mixed well. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little oil, and fresh rosemary. Set the potato skin bases upright on the tray and fill with the mixture.
Sprinkle the top of each stuffed sweet potato with some feta. Bake 10 minutes. Finish the potatoes under the broiler for the top to brown, 1 minute, if desired.
Warm up this fall season with a delicious Vegetarian Chili. Perfect for thosecool fall nights, and times you just want to fill the belly with goodness. I absolutely love the addition of the sweet potatoes and fresh kale from the garden. The mixture of sweet in spicy is a match made in heaven.
2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
½ teaspoon ground dried chipotle pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons ancho chile powder, or to taste
1 large carrot, diced
2 cups kale, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup water, or more as needed
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
½ cup sour cream, for garnish (optional)
handful of corn chip
½ grated cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine sweet potatoes, chipotle pepper, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large bowl and toss to coat. Spread sweet potatoes on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
Roast sweet potatoes in the preheated oven until the outside is crunchy and inside is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Cook and stir remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, onion, garlic, red bell pepper, diced carrot, ancho chile powder, cumin, and dried oregano together in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook and stir until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
Pour tomatoes, kale and water into the onion mixture and bring to a simmer. Add 1 teaspoon salt, coconut sugar, and cocoa powder. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
Stir black beans and cooled sweet potatoes into the onion-tomato mixture. Add more water if mixture is too thick. Simmer until heated through, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Serve topped with sour cream, corn chips, avocado, and cheese
These Curry Cauliflower Collard Wraps are a weekly go-to of mine! They’re really great to make if you’re looking for a healthy and quick lunch or dinner to sustain you. They also have quite a bit of flavour to them that you can easily make less or more spicy depending on your preference.
In a large bowl combine the lemon zest, curry, turmeric, garlic powder, sumac and olive oil. Whisk together until combined.
Pour all of the cauliflower, sweet potatoes, white onion and the remaining oil and spices onto a rimmed sheet pan. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Toss the cauliflower and rotate the pan to ensure even toasting.
Once roasted; season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Place in collard green wraps along with the additional toppings and enjoy!
What’s not to love about Vegan Waffles for breakfast? Especially with the delicious accompaniment of fresh fruit and local maple syrup! I’ll be the first to admit that waffles aren’t my every day go-to for breakfast, but every once and a while I get the craving and this is what I love to make.
Blend oats in a blender into a flour-like consistency. Add flax seed mixture, almond milk, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, melted coconut oil, baking powder, vanilla extract, agave nectar, and salt to oats; blend until batter is just mixed.
Spoon ½ cup batter into preheated waffle iron. Cook the waffles until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes.
Besides being my birthday season, I absolutely love everything about the Fall. From the apple picking, the delicious root vegetables and the leaves changing colours it really doesn’t get any better then that. Every year I make it a point to drive up to Milton to pick my own apples from one of my favourite orchards off the 5 side rd, it’s really a wonderful tradition.
I always end up making apple pies, apple crumble, or some sort of apple cake but this year I decided to change things up by making Homemade Apple Hand Pies ! And boy! let me tell you what a wonderful idea it was. I’m not going to lie and say it was easy, since there are definitely many steps involved, but I will say it really does help if you pre make the dough beforehand. You can find my fantastic easy pie crust recipe already up on the blog to get you started!
Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until the dough is about ¼-inch thick. Using a bowl, punch out circular holes in the dough and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Re-roll the dough and continue punching out circles until there is no dough left.
From there spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the filling into the center of each dough circle. Using your fingers, seal the edges of the dough circles by pressing it together. You can use a fork, create a decorative edging over the sealed portion of the dough if you like. Repeat this process until all of your pies are sealed and arranged on the cookie sheet with at least ½ an inch space between them.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Using a knife, score each pie two or three times on top. Place your cookie sheets back in the refrigerator until the oven has preheated.
To bake, place cookie sheet on middle rack and bake at 450°F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F, and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Remove from oven, and allow to cool on a wire rack until room temperature.
You can also feel free to make and drizzle a sugar glaze on top, if you want to make it extra sweet!
Looking for something to warm your belly up this fall? This Vegan Wild Mushroom Soup is the perfect thing to make that happen. Just over three years ago, I was inspired to recreate one of my favourite soups from The Red Tea Box restaurant in Toronto (which I’m sad to say closed this past month). I remember the first time I tried it and how completely blown away I felt about the dill and pepper seasoning. It completely changed the way I’ve gone about making mushroom soup. Feel free to make your own croutons and garnish however you’d like!
Place cauliflower, cashews, vegetable broth, onion powder, salt and pepper in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 7-8 minutes, until cauliflower is softened. Then, puree using a food processor.
Meanwhile, add olive oil, mushrooms and onion to a medium-sized saucepan. Heat over high heat until onions are translucent and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.
Add pureed cauliflower mixture to sauteed mushrooms. Then the spices and bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until thickened.
Whats not to love about Baked Kale & Tomato Macaroni? It is most certainly one of my favourite comforting dishes that is perfect for the fall or winter time. The extra-sharp cheddar combined with layers of kale and tomatoes make it a great option for picky vegetable eaters. I was super grateful that I even got to use the last of the fresh tomatoes and kale from the garden.
3 tablespoons plain dry breadcrumbs (I ended up making my ow from scratch)
1 teaspoon extra-virgin coconut oil
¼ teaspoon paprika
2 cups of steamed kale
1 cup of diced tomatoes
1¾ cups low-fat milk, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose gluten free flour
2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 ounces (2 cups) gluten-free elbow macaroni
Put a large pot of water on to boil. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
Mix breadcrumbs, melted coconut oil and paprika in a small bowl. Place steamed kale in a fine-mesh strainer and press out excess moisture.
Heat 1½ cups milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until steaming. Whisk remaining ¼ cup milk and flour in a small bowl until smooth; add to the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce simmers and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Cheddar until melted. Stir in cottage cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Cook pasta for 4 minutes, or until not quite tender. Drain and add to the cheese sauce; mix well. Spread half the pasta mixture in the prepared baking dish. Spoon the kale and diced tomatoes into the macaroni. Top with the remaining pasta; sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture.
Bake the casserole until bubbly and golden, 25 to 30 minutes.
I made this delicious Green Goddess Salad just a few hours before leaving for my trip out west. I was looking to eat something light and healthy before boarding the plane and this salad certainly satisfied my craving. I filled it with loads of kale from the garden, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, parsley and some sunflower and pumpkin seeds which gave it a good crunchy texture. I ended up going with a very flavourful honey- mustard dressing, which complimented all the veggies in the salad really well.
I absolutely love Ontario peaches; especially around the end of the summer when they are super ripe and full of great flavour. It was just the other week my mom came home from Niagara with a basket full of them, and I knew I needed to make something for my blog. I originally found this Peach Upside-Down Cake recipe scribbled down in one of my mom’s cookbooks and I thought it was the perfect time to test it out.
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine the peaches, sugar, cornstrach, and lemon juice first in a bowl. Spoon into a 9-inch round cake pan coated with butter or some sort of cooking spray.
Place ⅔ cup coconut sugar, butter, grated lemon rind, vanilla extract and egg in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (for about 5 minutes). Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition.
Spoon batter over peach mixture in pan. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Place a plate upside down on top of cake, and invert onto plate.
The other day I was having a major food dilemma. What to do with a bunch of fresh veggies from the garden in the fridge that needed to be used up? My first thought was to make some sort of vegetable lasagna. A part of me wanted to experiment to see what else I could come up with. I’ll be the first to admit that I completely winged this Veggie & Bulgur Stuffed Eggplant recipe; but I’m happy to say that it was a success and I’ll definitely be making this again.
Heat oven to 375F. Slice the eggplants in half lengthways, leaving the stem intact. Using a small knife, cut a border inside each eggplant about ½ cm thick. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the eggplant flesh, so that you have 4 shells. Brush these with a little of the olive oil, season with a bit of salt and pepper and place in a baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 mins. Chop the flesh and place to one side.
Meanwhile, over medium heat, cook onion, garlic, peppers, broccoli and kale in coconut oil until veggies start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped eggplant flesh, tomatoes, and mushrooms and cook through. Remove from heat and stir in bulgur, basil, feta, and salt and pepper.
When the eggplant halves are tender, remove from the oven and reduce heat to 325F. Pile stuffing into shells. Bake for 15-20 mins, until the cheese is gooey. Serve with plain greek yogurt over top which is optional.