Thursday, April 14, 2011

Balsamic Date Hummus - Recipe

And we resume my love affair with hummus. This fine creation was formed on the basis of a craving for a sweet hummus, steering away from the traditional route a bit. I love dates, they add a lovely touch of sweetness, and a healthy portion of fibre, to meals such as pizzas, salads, and now hummus!

In a food processor, mix up...
- 1/4 cup chickpeas/garbanzo beans (same diff)
- a tablespoon of balsamic glaze
- 4 dates
- a drizzle of olive oil
- 1 tsp of cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- bunch of freshly ground pepper
- a squirt of honey
To top it off, drizzle some mo' balsamic glaze!
 Serve this yummy hummus with unsalted Que Pasa chips, delish :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Vegan Cocoa-Matcha-Banana Chewy Cookies - Recipe

For real, I honestly just got crafty with this one. I was craving something sweet and chocolatey after dinner, so I gathered ingredients that could potentially create this dessert that I sought. And so were born, the Cocoa Matcha Banana Chews:

Preheat the oven to 275, before all else

In a big bowl, throw in...
- 1 cup of flour (I used whole wheat)
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 1 tbsp of matcha powder (I used Jasmine matcha and they were DELICIOUS!)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup soymilk
- 1/4 cup of agave syrup (many vegans do not eat honey, but you can use honey here instead if you so desire)
- half a mashed banana (browning ones are fine! use 'em up!)
....Mix up all this business and then dollop them onto parchment paper (that's been sprayed with some olive oil spray/cooking spray)

Bake those up for a good 12 mins. Remember! You don't want them to be crispy, if they are crispy you've overcooked them and they won't be yummy and chewy. After cooling, they should stay intact; not total mush/not hard as a rock.

For fun garnish and taste, dip the tops of the chews onto a plate of granola (whatever your fave one is!) and use the other half of the banana you mashed earlier on, and chop pieces to press into the top of the chews.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sweet & Spicy Rice Bowl with Naam's Chipotle Miso Gravy - Recipe

Naam, one of my fave Vancouver Westside eateries makes the most delectable, filling vegetarian meals around. Since on my workstudy here in Banff,  I've been pining for a taste of Naam. I drove into Calgary for the weekend, for a city fix, and stopped by Community Foods on 10th Ave. As I was casually browsing their goods, lo and behold, bottles of Naam's Miso Gravy lined up on the shelf. I reached for the Chipotle Miso Gravy, I couldn't resist. So when I returned to Banff this evening, I was super stoked to get in the kitchen and cook with my new purchase. Hope you like it!

First and foremost, deal with some rice. I like mixed grains, but your fave type of rice will do! Usually, the ratio is 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water. Cover, bring to a boil, lift lid, stir once, cover once again, simmer that puppy on low for 50 minutes, uncover, fluff with fork, cover once more, let stand for 10 mins til the rice soaks up the rest of the water!

- chop some yellow pepper
- dice some red onion
- mince a clove of garlic
....and throw all these ingredients to cook in a drizzle of olive oil in a pan until they're soft. Feel free to sprinkle a pinch of cumin and salt for flavour.

Then you'll wanna...
- strain and rinse some organic red kidney beans
- chop up some (3) dates 
- dice up a quarter of an apple
......and chuck those in with the veggies

- Pour as much of Naam's Chipotle Miso Gravy as you see fit to coat the veggies/fruit/bean mixture
- Stir in a dollop of organic cream cheese, to subdue some of the spice from the sauce, while keeping its kick
- Add a dash of soymilk, to thicken. 

Continue stirring until you can't control yourself anymore, and must consume the meal you have cooked! 
Pour the veggies and the sauce atop the bed of rice that awaits

But lastly, a final touch: grate some carrots and garnish. The raw grated carrots are a nice addition, I find, to compliment the richness of the rest of the dish.

Ready, Set, Consuuuume!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Rosemary Butternut Squash Pizza - Recipe


Pizzas are uber easy, AND fun to create! It's one of those great dishes where you can truly personalize the ingredients you choose to include in the final product. Here's a combination of ingredients that I find work very lovely together!

Preheat that oven to 300, baby
To prepare the squash, I like to soften them in a covered saucepan with a puddle of olive oil. Sprinkle some rosemary on the squash, we'll add more directly onto the pizza later on too! 

I find it convenient to buy pizza crust for your foundation; if you want to make your own, there are some great recipes online and in cookbooks. It's simple to make your own, but out of convenience, I just bought already-prepared dough.

Dust some oregano across the surface before spreading a generous dollop of marinara sauce (I like Newman's) on the dough

And then chop the following for your pizza toppings:
- a bit of red onion
- about 1/6th of a yellow pepper
- several basil leaves
- 3 or so dates
- 3 mushrooms (optional)
- other colours of peppers (optional)

Place all those ingredients on the bed of marinara sauce, and add that softened squash
Grate a nice layer of light Havarti cheese and throw some more rosemary on it! Crack some pepper onto it too. 

Cook that sucker for 15-20 mins (or however crisp you like it)

Drizzle with some balsamic glaze (a quality, accessible brand is Blaze) 
It's nice to have a side of Party-of-Flavours Salad!

Enjoy :)