Tofu Chicken Chili

We love chili. Beans are the bomb. But sometimes we also like to have some tofu, particularly before a gruelling boot camp session. We repeat to ourselves, we are doing this willingly. This is fun. Despite the pain we undergo 3 times a week, at least we are full and able to do all those planks and squats. No diets here! Just delicious, home cooked food.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 package veggie ground “chicken”
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
1-2 cups water
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can white kidney beans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon vegeta
1/2 cup vegan cheddar cheese or regular cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1. Heat the olive oil in large non-stick pan or saucepan. Saute onions for 5-8 minutes at medium high heat. Add carrots and cook for 5 to 8 min, stirring constantly. Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 min.
2. Add dry seasonings, veggie broth, water and veggie ground chicken, mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add red and yellow bell pepper and cook for another 10 minutes.
3. Add beans, cheese and parsley. Heat through, stirring to combine. Season with salt, pepper and vegeta to taste. Serve immediately.

Homemade Pizza

In Croatia where our family is from, the pizza always has a thin crust. We prefer this type of pizza to the thick, doughy fast food pizza usually served in restaurants. While Calgary does have pizzerias that offer a delicious thin crust pizza, it’s nice to roll out your own dough, lay on fresh ingredients, and enjoy a slice that is not scant on ingredients.

Pizza Dough

1 cup water
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Toppings

1 small can tomato sauce
4-5 Crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
Handful of chopped artichokes
1 teaspoon oregano
Fresh tomato slices
Grated cheese (we recommend a four cheese blend such as Romano, Mozzarella, Parmesan, and smoked Gouda)
4-5 fresh basil leaves, washed and blotted dry
Dash of truffle oil

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water, and let sit for 10 minutes.
3. Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution. In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of the flour with the yeast mixture.
4. Turn dough out onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a cloth.
5. Let the dough rise until double; this should take about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the room temperature. Make the dough into a ball, and roll out onto a well floured surface.
6. Alternatively, you can use a bread maker on a pizza dough setting. Just pour all the ingredients into the bread maker bowl, starting with the water, oil, sugar and salt, flour and then yeast and oregano at the top. When finished, proceed with rolling dough out onto a floured surface.
7. Spread your toppings starting with the pizza sauce, cheese and then vegetables and oregano on top.
8. Bake for about 15 min on the middle rack, or until the cheese and crust are golden brown.
9. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and sprinkle with truffle oil.

Smoky Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus

Hummus is a foodie’s best friend. It’s always there for you; as a sandwich spread, a dip, or something you spoon into your mouth like peanut butter. Not that I do that… all the time. This hummus is decadently creamy and the liquid smoke gives it an absolutely delightful smoky taste.

1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
1 can organic chick peas, reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid (398 ml)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 drops liquid smoke (about 1/8 tsp)

1. Rinse the chickpeas, but reserve the liquid from the can.
2. Add all ingredients to high-speed blender or food processor. Add the chickpea liquid gradually to taste, as you may prefer a less creamy/salty hummus.
3. Serve with Raincoast Crisps or baby carrots.

– Silvia

Fresh Basil and Macadamia Nut Pesto

With macadamia nuts instead of pine nuts you can add a tasty island twist to a traditional pesto pasta recipe.

3 cups fresh whole wheat pasta
1/2 cup unsalted, dry-roasted macadamia nuts
2 cups fresh basil leaves
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 bunch of asparagus
1/2 of a zucchini

1. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain the pasta when it’s done.
2. Wash the asparagus, snap off the ends and discard. Wash and thinly slice the zucchini. Top the vegetables with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill for 7 minutes, or broil for 10 minutes.
3. In the meantime, pulse the macadamia nuts in a food processor, then add garlic and basil and pulse a few times more. Slowly add the olive oil while the food processor is on. Scrape the sides of the food processor with the rubber spatula, add salt and pepper and pulse a few more times.
4. In a large bowl, mix pesto mixture and cooked pasta.
5. Cut up grilled asparagus and zucchini and add to the pasta.
6. Garnish with grape tomatoes and serve.

– DJ

Chickpea and Eggplant Curry

This is one of our favorite curry recipes. It’s so delicious we’ve been making it every week. DJ adapted this recipe from Post Punk Kitchen’s Eggplant and Black Eyed Pea Curry.



Chickpea and Eggplant Curry

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 eggplant, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Fresh ground black pepper
A dash of cayenne (leave out if you don’t like spicy, increase if you do)
1/2 cup red lentils
5 cups vegetable broth
1 can organic chick peas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup tomato sauce

1. Preheat a pot over medium high heat. Saute onions in olive oil until translucent for about 7 to 8 minutes.
2. Add garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the eggplant, salt, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and black pepper along with one cup of the vegetable broth. Cook the eggplant for a couple of minutes.
3. Add lentils and the remaining 4 cups of vegetable broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, lover heat to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes, until lentils are tender and the eggplant is soft. Add the chickpeas and heat through, then stir in tomato sauce and lemon.
4. Serve with brown rice, quinoa, couscous, or with naan bread and cucumber salad.

BANANAS for Banana Bread!

I always get excited when there’s a few bananas in the fruit bowl that are starting to brown. That means it’s time for BANANA BREAD!!! This banana bread is sooooo good. It’s hard to eat just one slice, so take two. Or three.

BANANAS for Banana Bread!

4 very ripe large bananas
1/3 cup melted organic coconut oil
1 cup cane sugar
1 free run egg, beaten or egg replacer equal to one egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mash bananas in a large bowl. Add melted coconut oil and mix well with a wooden spoon.
3. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla, walnuts and chocolate chips.
4. Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a small bowl, mix and add to the large bowl. Mix well and pour into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees F.
5. It’s done when a toothpick inserted in the middle of banana bread comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and then take the bread out of the pan. Cool completely before slicing.

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