Squash, Chickpea & Kale Soup

squash chickpea kale soup with miso

Quick, easy dinners are not only the best but often a necessity.  This soup is one the easiest ones you'll ever find.  Made with kabocha squash and miso, this soup is inspired by Japanese flavours, but you don't need anything fancy to make it.  Kabocha squash is one of our favourite types of squash- it has a delicious earthy and subtly sweet taste that is richer than butternut squash. 

This recipe is also very forgiving: feel free to switch out the green onions for 2 to 3 Tbsp of chopped shallots or yellow onion.  We originally used green onions in this recipe because they are lighter than yellow onion (and we wanted this soup to be light and not have a strong onion taste).  You can also omit the chickpeas if you prefer a vegetable only soup or even sub in a different type of bean, such as white beans or adzuki beans. 

And, don't forget the miso, the important flavour enhancer as well as digestive supportive ingredient that provides lots of beneficial bacteria. We love using miso that's made from chickpeas because it's soy free.  But, if you can eat soy, then you can use normal miso made from soybeans (get organic!).

squash chickpea kale soup with miso

 

Squash, Chickpea & Kale Soup with Miso

1 small kabocha squash, peeled and cut in cubes (you can leave the skin on if you prefer)
4 turnips, peeled and cut in cubes
2 to 3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 green onions, chopped (or use some shallot or yellow onion instead)
1 small can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6 cups filtered water

Wait to add in:
3 cups green kale, chopped
3 Tbsp chickpea miso (or other miso)

squash chickpea kale soup with miso

Directions:
1. Chop the veggies.
2. Add the veggies and chickpeas to a pot and cover with water.
3. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer on low heat for around 30 minutes, until the veggies are soft and cooked.
4. Turn off the heat. Then stir in the kale and let it wilt in the hot broth.
5. Scoop out around 1/2 cup of the broth into a mug or bowl.  Mix in the miso so that it's dissolved.  Then pour this back into the pot and stir into the rest of the soup.
6. *Don't boil the liquid after the miso has been added in (the heat destroys the good bacteria that's found in the miso).   If reheating any leftover soup, heat gently but don't boil.  Alternatively, you can add a spoonful of miso to each individual bowl of soup instead of adding it into the large pot.

 

Wilted Kale Winter Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Beets & Cauliflower

Wilted Kale Winter Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Beets & Cauliflower

We are in love with this salad.  It's tough to eat cold, raw veggies in the winter when it's cold.  Eating with the seasons, our bodies crave warm, comforting foods that will both physically and energetically get our digestive fire going.  However, there's something about salads that is always so refreshing and uplifting and just makes use feel healthy.  That's where balance comes in.  There is a way to enjoy salad in the winter, with a little bit of extra care and creativity. 

To do this, we combine some cooked veggies with some raw veggies, so there's a little bit of fresh, vibrance mixed with comfort and warmth.

In this salad we use roasted cauliflower and roasted beets.  It's optional to lightly saute the kale and brussels sprouts.  If you prefer, you can keep these raw.  We like to add in some freshly slivered radishes to provide that crisp bite.  And, lastly, adding in some refreshing grapefruit and orange really rounds out the salad and adds some beautiful colour!

This recipe is actually ideal to make with leftovers.  If you roast some cauliflower and beets the day or two before you make this salad, then you can eat some of them for another meal and then use the rest in this salad recipe.

Wilted Kale Winter Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Beets & Cauliflower

Wilted Kale Winter Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Cauliflower and Beets

1 small bunch kale, chopped
2 cups brussels sprouts, slivered finely
2 beets, roasted and sliced into thin pieces
2 cups cauliflower florets, roasted
2 radishes, sliced in thin slivers
1/2 of a cara cara orange, sliced in thin segments
1/2 of a grapefruit, sliced in thin segments
2 to 3 Tbsp hempseeds

Lemon Vinaigrette:
1/2 a lemon, juiced
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 of a small garlic clove, minced
sea salt and pepper

Wilted Kale Winter Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Beets & Cauliflower

Directions:

1. If you have leftover roasted cauliflower and beets, yay!  If you don't have them ready yet, then chop the cauliflower into florets.  Spread out on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and sea salt.  Roast at 375 for 30 minutes, or until beginning to crisp on edges.  If you need to roast the beets, rinse them well and cut away any dirty parts.  Wrap up in some tin foil with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and pepper.  Roast for 1 hour, or until the beets are soft.  Then the skin will peel off easily.  Slice into thin pieces.

2. Rinse off the kale and dry well.  Chop into smaller pieces.

3. Sliver the brussels sprouts as thinly as you can.

4. Optional: If you prefer that the kale and brussels sprouts are cooked, lightly saute them in some extra virgin olive oil with sea salt.  It's best to saute them separately and then toss together after.

5. Chop the radishes in slivers.  Slice the cara cara orange and grapefruit into thin segmets

6. Combine all the veggies and toss together.

7. Make vinaigrette and drizzle on top.

Wilted Kale Winter Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Beets & Cauliflower

Gluten Free Vegan Lasagna Rolls with Pumpkin Cashew Cheese

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With all this dreary winter weather in Toronto, hearty and filling main dishes are one of the things that we crave most.  Although a cheesy rich classic lasagna sounds so appealing, most of our clients can't eat cheese and gluten.  So, we came up with something just as good that's dairy free and gluten free.  This lasagna is full of saucy, baked tomatoes paired with creamy and rich "cheese" that's made from cashews and slightly sweet pumpkin.  We love making this version of lasagna rolls instead of layering the lasagna noodles in a dish because it's easy to serve out and looks more interesting than a standard lasagna.

 

Gluten Free Vegan Lasagna Rolls with Pumpkin Cashew Cheese

1 package of gluten free lasagna noodles
1 large jar of high quality marinara sauce
1 cup brown cremini mushrooms, sliced in thin pieces
2 cups baby spinach or kale, chopped finely

Cheese:
1 cup organic cashews
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
few spoonfuls of water

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Directions:

1. Soak the cashews in a bowl with hot water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

2. Meanwhile, cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 8 minutes (you want them to be al dente, not completely cooked).  Then strain out of the pot and cool down under cold water.

3. Slice the mushrooms in thin pieces.  Chop the baby spinach or kale.

4. Once the cashews are softened, drain out of the bowl.

5. Place all of the ingredients for the "cheese" in the food processor and blend until creamy.  You can add a few spoonfuls of water if needed, to get the mixture blending.  Don't add too much water though, as you want the mixture to be thick and a similar consistency to ricotta cheese.

6. Lay the lasagna noodles out on a flat surface, such as a cutting board or large flat plate.

7. Carefully spread the "cheese" mixture over each lasagna noodle.  Sprinkle chopped mushrooms and baby spinach or kale over top of this.

8. Then take one edge of each noodle and roll over on itself tightly.

9. Spread around 1/2 cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish.

10. Place the lasagna rolls on top of the sauce, leaning them against each other.

11. Pour more marinara sauce over top of the lasagna noodles (add as much as you like).

12. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes.

 

 

 

 

Blueberry Banana Ginger Spelt Oat Muffins

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Ever crave a muffin in the morning that's perfect for breakfast but not too sweet? We are always trying to find recipes for baked goods that won't give us a sugar rush or that shaky feeling that comes from eating something too sweet for breakfast.  This recipe is a lovely combination of spelt, oat and buckwheat that creates a flavourful, rich flour that's also still fluffy.  Buckwheat is a gluten free flour that we love to bake with, but it is very dense when used on it's own.  That's why spelt flour and oat flour give the muffins a better texture.  You are going to love the bite of candied ginger in these muffins, it pairs beautifully with the familiar sweet taste of banana and the fresh pop of blueberries.

Blueberry Banana Ginger Spelt Oat Muffins

1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
pinch of sea salt

1 cup mashed bananas (about 2)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup dairy-free milk
2 eggs

1 cup blueberries (we like to use frozen wild blueberries)
1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped in small pieces

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.

  2. Mix the wet ingredients together.  Fold in the dry ingredients.  Then stir in the blueberries and chopped candied ginger.

  3. Portion out into a mini muffin tin, lined with muffin liners. Alternatively, you can bake in a normal sized muffin tin.

  4. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through and knife or toothpick comes out clean. If you're making larger muffins, they might take a little longer to cook in the center.

Blueberry Banana Ginger Spelt Oat Muffins

Cranberry Apple Sauce w/ Ginger and Cinnamon

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If this recipe had another name it would be "All the warm and fuzzy holiday feelings sauce!"  It's our warming, spiced, boost your immune system winter sauce that's the perfect combo of sweet and tart.  Cranberries, orange, and apples simmered with fresh ginger root, cinnamon and maple syrup will make your home smell so comforting and welcoming.  We love eating this sauce with breakfast, as a snack, as a healthy dessert or you can use it in any meal where you would use standard cranberry sauce.

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Cranberry Apple Sauce w/ Ginger and Cinnamon

1 bag of cranberries
1 apple, diced
1 orange, peeled and chopped roughly
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp fresh ginger root, grated or minced
1 cup water
1 Tbsp maple syrup

Directions:

1. Rinse off the cranberries and apple, and peel the orange.

2. Dice the apple and cut the orange roughly in small pieces.

3. Grate or mince the ginger root.

4. Combine the cranberries, apple, orange, ginger root and cinnamon in a pot.  Pour in the water.

5. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes, until the fruit is soft and cooked well.

6. Stir in the maple syrup.  You can mash the fruit if you prefer that it is smooth.

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Carrot Ginger Soup

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When you only have 5 to 10 minutes to prep a recipe, this one really does the trick!  But you would never know, because it tastes so full and rich, creamy and thick, with the perfect balance of sweet and earthy flavours.  This time of year we love warming, cozy soups.  This Carrot Ginger soup is especially good if you are sick because the ginger, onions and garlic will support your immune system.  You'll find that this soup is easy to swallow but has lots of body to it, the complete opposite of a thin, watery soup.  In fact, if you find that it's too thick, you can add some extra broth to thin it out. 

 

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Carrot Ginger Soup

1 lb. carrots, chopped (peel if they are dirty and/or not organic)
2 ribs of celery, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ginger root, chopped roughly
4 cup veggie broth
sea salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Directions:

1. Heat a spoonful of olive oil in a pot and saute the onions, garlic and ginger root for around 5 minutes, until translucent. 

2. Add the carrots, celery, veggie broth and sea salt and pepper to the pot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the carrots are soft.

3. Carefully pour the soup into a high speed blender and blend until the soup is smooth and creamy.

4. Taste and add more sea salt or pepper if needed.