Roasted Almond, Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

The next time someone curious about veganism asks me, “where do you get your protein?” I’ll spoon-feed them a bite of this roasted almond, asparagus and black bean bowl while singing an Iron and Wine song. Once they are no longer creeped out and have regressed to that of a sleepy, full toddler, they’ll rejoice in the simplicity and delightful flavour of this salad.

Add spices to taste. I throw in whatever I’m in the mood for, which is usually smoked paprika.

Roasted Almond, Asparagus and Black Bean Bowl Recipe

1/2 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cup water
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 bunch asparagus
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup black beans
1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
Favourite spices (smoked paprika, cumin, etc.)

1. Start by boiling the quinoa. The best way to prepare quinoa is to rinse and drain it in water first, as this will get rid of the slightly bitter taste you might find after it’s been cooked. After rinsing, place in a small pot with water, maple syrup and garlic. Bring to a boil, then cover and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. Quinoa will be done when it has a tiny curl and will be slightly crunchy. Fluff with a fork and add to large bowl.
2. While quinoa is boiling, roast almonds in a dry pan on medium-high heat. Watch almonds closely to make sure they don’t burn. Once browned, or you start smelling that delightful “almonds roasting over a stovetop” smell, remove from heat and let cool.
3. Time for the asparagus. Wash, break off ends, then place in a small pan filled with water and 1/4 tsp salt. Allow to boil on medium-high for 5-6 minutes. When done, should be slightly firm and bright green. Rinse in cold water and then set aside.
4. Rinse and drain black beans. Add to large bowl.
5. Once quinoa is done, mix quinoa, almonds, asparagus and black beans together in the bowl.
6. For the dressing, mix the juice of one lemon with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add whatever spices you’d like, for example 1/4-1/2 tsp smoked paprika or cumin. Season to taste! Pour over salad and mix.

Prep and cooking time: 25 minutes.

Adapted from a recipe in Glow Magazine.

– Silvia

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Creamy Potato and Leek Soup

Leeks belong to the same family as garlic, onions, shallots, and scallions have a delicate flavour and add a subtle, sweet touch to this soup. Leeks are high in vitamin A, vitamin K and manganese.

Creamy Potato and Leek Soup

This soup is thick, creamy, sweet and has a touch of smokiness.

3 large leeks, washed and chopped (use only the white and pale green parts)
1 tbsp margarine
4 cups water
2 cups vegetable stock
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced (not the leafy part, only the crunchy part)
1 and 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper, ground
1/2 tsp smoked paprika, ground
1/2 tsp coriander, ground
1/4 tsp dried marjoram, crushed
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

1. Saute leeks in margarine with salt, pepper and smoked paprika, on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Stir often, as you do not want to brown the leeks.
2. Add vegetable stock, water, potatoes, carrots, celery, coriander, and cook for 30 minutes.
3. Pour the mixture into a blender no more than half full. Cover and firmly hold lid in place; pulse a few times before leaving on to blend. Puree in batches until smooth. Return to pot. Add parsley and marjoram and stir. Add more salt and freshly ground pepper if needed.
4. Serve with a fresh french baguette.

Quick Portobello Mushrooms

This is a version of a very yummy portobello mushroom appetizer recipe that our friends Keith and Vicki made this Christmas. It can also be used as a main dish.

Quick Portobello Mushrooms

6 portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups bruschetta
1 Boursin cheese with garlic, crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly oil a baking sheet.
2. Clean portobello mushrooms by brushing them with a wet paper towel. Remove the stem and discard.
3. Brush the mushroom caps with the olive oil. Place mushrooms on the baking sheet, facing upwards. Sprinkle 1/4 cup bruschetta on each mushroom cap.
4. Bake for 13 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the oven and spread Boursin cheese or vegan cheese on top of the bruschetta.
5. Return the mushrooms to the oven and bake until the cheese melted and bubbly. Allow the mushrooms to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Serves 6.

For a vegan version, use 4 ounces of shredded vegan cheddar cheese. We used Daiya on the vegan one pictured below.

Veggie Meatballs


DJ veganized a vegetarian meatball recipe for Christmas dinner and then again at New Years Eve. It tastes amazing with garlic mashed potatoes and a big salad. It’s omnivore-approved!



Meatballs

1 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese
1/2 cup vegan cottage cheese
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 & 1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
3/4 cup vegetable stock



Sweat and Sour Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup apricot jam

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, mix together cheddar cheese and cottage cheese until well combined. Add onions, walnuts, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, sage, wheat gluten and bread crumbs; mix until well combined. Slowly pour in vegetable stock , mixing at the same time until well blended. Form the mixture into small “meatballs” and place them into 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, vinegar, apricot jam, ketchup, oregano, onion flakes and garlic powder. Pour over meatballs, making sure that they are completely covered.
4. Bake uncovered for 35 to 4a min.

Serves 8.
Adapted from allrecipes.com