Quinoa Veggie Patties w/ Carrot and Zucchini

written by Tamar Saskin

These quinoa patties are vegan, dairy free, gluten free and high in protein and made with zucchini, carrot and shallots.

Looking for a delicious meal packed with veggies and that’s easy to eat? Try these delicious quinoa patties that are travel friendly and keep well in the fridge as leftovers that can easily be reheated for lunch.  We’ve included shallots, carrots, and zucchini in these vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free patties that are similar to veggie burgers, but you could use onion, garlic, other root veggies like sweet potato or beets, and other leafy greens like chard or kale. Because these patties are baked, it makes this recipe so much easier to prepare than frying them on the stove top.

The magic ingredient that is the base of these patties and works to hold everything together is quinoa. Soaking quinoa in a bowl of water overnight or during the day before you prepare this recipe will make the quinoa softer, more sticky and better at holding the other ingredients together in the shape of burgers. Besides this, soaking quinoa is an important step to make it easier on the digestive system as well as make its nutrients more accessible to the body. Grains, nuts and seeds contain phytic acid, which binds to the minerals in these foods, making it difficult for the body to access these nutrients. But, soaking grains, nuts and seeds helps to reduce the the phytic acid content.

Quinoa is an excellent source of protein, fiber, and many minerals including manganese, magnesium, zinc and potassium. It’s fiber content is as much as 10-16 grams per 100 grams, which helps support removal of waste through your digestive system as well as prevent your blood sugar from spiking.  And, it’s protein content is 8 grams per cup and contains all nine of the essential amino acids. The essential amino acids are normally only found in animal based foods, so quinoa is quite a special plant based food that vegetarians can get protein from.

We hope you’ll give these quinoa patties a try. Let us know if you do and snap a photo and tag us on Instagram or Facebook, we’d love to see how they turn out!

Quinoa Veggie Patties w/ Carrot and Zucchini

1 cup dried quinoa
2 cups water
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, finely diced
2 small carrots, grated
1 small zucchini, grated
1 (10 ounce) package chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 Tbsp almond flour (or other gluten free flour of choice)
1 Tbsp buckwheat flour (or other gluten free flour of choice)
½ tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp tahini
1 tsp sea salt
Some freshly ground pepper
⅛ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp coconut dairy-free, unsweetened yogurt

Directions:

  1. We recommend soaking the quinoa in a bowl of water overnight or during the day before you make this recipe.  Then drain the quinoa and toss out the water.

  2. Place the quinoa, water, and olive oil in a large sauce pot and bring it to a boil.

  3. Lower to a simmer and cook the quinoa, covered, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes, until tender and all the liquid is absorbed.

  4. Let the quinoa cool to room temperature (you can place it in the fridge to speed this process up).

  5. Preheat the oven to 400 F

  6. Place the cooked quinoa into a large bowl with the shallots, carrots, zucchini, spinach, flour, baking powder, yogurt, tahini, salt, pepper, cilantro, and lemon juice.

  7. Mix well.

  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  9. Lightly oil the paper with avocado oil.

  10. Using a ¼ cup to measure, place the scooped mixture on the paper and press down lightly to form patties.

  11. Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned (10 minutes on each side).


References:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-quinoa#section7

Watermelon, Tomato, Cucumber and Herb Salad

written by Rachel Moss

This watermelon salad is dairy-free and doesn't have feta, it's made with watermelon, tomato, cucumber and herbs

Watermelon is one of those fruits we can all agree on. It's cooling, refreshing, delicious and the perfect summer fruit (even though it's September, we're going to hold onto summer a little bit longer here). Watermelon is great in a wide variety of recipes such as smoothies or popsicles, but there’s another way to eat watermelon: in a salad! This recipe includes watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, herbs, as well as pine nuts and nutritional yeast for additional health benefits and flavor. Instead of using feta cheese, which you'll often see paired with watermelon, we've kept this recipe dairy-free and vegan by using nuts and nutritional yeast instead. You will find that watermelon compliments all of the ingredients in this salad recipe very well!

Watermelon is not only delicious and refreshing but has many health benefits. Since watermelon contains both water and fiber, it is very hydrating and supports digestion. It's high in an antioxidant called lycopene, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Watermelon also has Vitamin A and C, which are important for skin and hair health, as well as other vitamins such as Vitamin B6, magnesium and potassium, which are important for the heart. 

Parsley, mint and cilantro are not only a tasty addition to this salad, but offer some health benefits. Cilantro is a good source of fiber, vitamins A, C, E, K, calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium.  Cilantro also has high amounts of phytonutrients and phenolic compounds, and contains a flavonoid called quercetin, which has been linked with helping to reduce inflammation. Cilantro even contains some antibacterial compounds.

We hope you give this delicious, dairy-free, vegan and refreshing summer salad a try. Check out the recipe below and see for yourself how simple it is to make. Please let us know if you make the recipe!  We'd love to hear from you or see a photo of your salad if you post one on Instagram or Facebook and tag us.

This watermelon salad is dairy-free and doesn't have feta, it's made with watermelon, tomato, cucumber and herbs

 

Watermelon, Tomato, Cucumber, and Herb Salad

4 cups watermelon, cut in cubes
4 cups tomatoes, diced in large pieces
2 cups cucumber, diced
2 Tbsp mint leaves, chopped
½ cup parsley,  leaves torn
¼ cup cilantro, leaves torn
2 Tbsp minced red onion

½ cup pine nuts (or sub in slivered almonds instead)
1 tsp nutritional yeast
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp avocado oil
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop all of the veggies and watermelon. 

  2. Combine the watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, herbs, and red onion in a large bowl

  3. Chop the pine nuts (or slivered almonds) and mix it with the nutritional yeast in a small bowl, then sprinkle the mixture evenly over the salad.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, avocado oil, sea salt and pepper.

  5. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly. 

This watermelon salad is dairy-free and doesn't have feta, it's made with watermelon, tomato, cucumber and herbs

 

References:
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=70
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/watermelon-health-benefits#section4

Grilled Corn w/ Mexican Coconut Sauce

written by Tamar Saskin

This is grilled corn with Mexican Coconut Sauce and it's dairy free and gluten free

We are holding onto summer for as long as possible with this sweet summer corn. As you probably know by now, we love using local produce from the farmer’s market to make delicious vegetable dishes and there’s nothing quite like locally grown organic corn.  Although corn is often not considered the most superb veggie (ie, it’s not like kale and broccoli), it does have some health benefits. Corn is definitely a source of carbs, so if you’re on a low-carb diet than you’ll want to skip this one, however corn does contain fiber and has a low-medium glycemic index, so it doesn’t spike blood sugar as much as refined grains. Corn contains some of the B-vitamins, including B6, folate, pantothenic acid and niacin. Corn is a good source of some antioxidants including lutein, which helps protect the eyes from blue light (the light you see from your cell phone, which unfortunately we are being more and more exposed to everyday).

To make this grilled corn extra delicious, we made a sauce with coconut milk and coconut yogurt as the base.  Researchers have studied coconut milk for it’s MCT (medium chain triglycerides) content, which is an easily digested and absorbed fat that’s great for boosting energy and keeping you satiated for longer.  We love using fresh cilantro in this recipe for added flavor, to support digestion, as well as to provide some extra vitamins and minerals.

If you don’t have a grill, you can modify this recipe by steaming the corn on the cob instead of grilling it.  Another option is to cut the cooked corn kernels off the cob and add them to a salad with the coconut sauce. Let us know if you give the recipe a try!


Grilled Corn w/ Mexican Coconut Sauce

Mexican Coconut Sauce:
⅓ cup full fat coconut milk (from can)
2 Tbsp coconut yogurt
1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tsp lime juice
¼ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp chili powder
pinch of sea salt

Toppings:
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped
Fresh cracked black pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Remove the corn husks and place the corn in a bowl of cold water with a pinch of sea salt. Let it soak for 20 minutes.

  2. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and whisk until smooth.  Adjust seasoning if needed. You can always add more spices or lime juice, if you prefer.

  3. Heat the grill. Rub a tiny bit of coconut oil over the corn and then place on the grill.  

  4. Grill for about 15 minutes, making sure to rotate the corn every few minutes to prevent it from burning.

  5. Once ready, drizzle the coconut sauce over the corn.

  6. Sprinkle extra cilantro and black pepper over top before serving.

This is grilled corn with Mexican Coconut Sauce and it's dairy free and gluten free

Marinated Beet Salad w/ Almond and Sesame Seed Crumble

marinated beets, marinated beet salad

While we often associate beets with warming, hearty winter recipes, this root veggie is also delicious in the spring and summer.  In fact, beets prepared in a flavourful marinade served over salad greens is one of the tastiest ways to eat them.  This recipe is uplifting and refreshing with zesty lemon juice and a subtle bite from fresh garlic.

Beets are rich in the phytonutrients called betalains (gives them their beautiful color), which have been studied for their antioxidant properties as well as for their role in supporting the liver's ability to detox toxins from the body. 

If you eat dairy, you could add some goat or sheep cheese crumbled over top of this salad.  You could also add in some other vegetables, such as cucumber and radishes, if you want more variety.  But, the crunch of the toasted sesame seeds and almonds pairs perfectly with the tender beets.

marinated beets, marinated beet salad

Marinated Beet Salad w/ Almond and Sesame Seed Crumble

2 large beets, peeled
1 bunch of red leaf lettuce (or other type of lettuce that you like)

Marinade:
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 of a small garlic clove, minced
sea salt and pepper

Almond and Sesame Seed Crumble:
3 Tbsp sesame seeds
3 Tbsp sliced almonds

marinated beets, marinated beet salad

Directions:
1. Peel the beets and cut into small wedges.
2. Place the beets in a small pot with around 1/4 cup of water (enough water to cover the bottom of the pot and some of the beets, but they don't need to be completely covered).
3. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, or until the beets are tender.
4. Run the beets under cold water to cool them down.
5. Then toss the beets together with the marinade in a bowl.  Add sea salt and pepper to taste>
6. While the beets are cooking- rinse off the lettuce well and  make sure to dry.  Pull the leaves apart carefully, leaving them whole (remove any wilted or dirty parts).
7. Place the leaves out on a serving platter and serve some beets into the center of each leaf.
8. Place the sliced almonds and sesame seeds on a baking sheet and toast lightly at 350 in the oven for 5-7 minutes, until just light golden (be careful not to burn).
9. Once toasted, pulse the almonds and sesame seeds in the food processor into a crumble.
10. Sprinkle the crumble over top of the beets right before serving.

 

 

Creamy Cauliflower and Celeriac Soup

cauliflower soup, cauliflower celeriac soup, vegan cauliflower soup

This creamy cauliflower and celeriac soup was our farewell to winter for another year. As it warms up outside, we feel less inclined to eat soups and gradually transition to plenty of cool, hearty spring salads. Anything to avoid turning on the stove when it’s warm out!

In lieu of using a traditional mirepoix that consists of onion, celery, and carrots, we added celery’s sibling celeriac to the mix (also known as celery root). While celeriac is not so pleasant on the eyes, once you peel away the twisted, dirty outer layers it reveals a smooth white flesh that packs an earthy, subtle celery flavour.

Celeriac is great to eat raw in salads, as a puree that’s a wonderful alternative to mashed potatoes, or in soup recipes as we’ve done here. This soup is great for a chilly evening, or you can turn it into a delicious cold soup by adding in a few pears or apples to the mix.

 

Creamy Cauliflower and Celeriac Soup

Ingredients:
2 to 3 tsp Lee’s Za'atar Star ghee (or use any type of ghee or regular olive oil)
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
sea salt, to taste
1 head celeriac, chopped
1 head cauliflower, chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
½ cup coconut milk

Directions:

  1. In a pot over medium-low heat, melt the ghee. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, sauteeing until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add in the garlic and thyme, cooking until fragrant.

  2. Add in the celeriac and cauliflower, sauteeing for 7-8 minutes until softened.

  3. Add in vegetable broth and coconut milk, adjusting if needed.

  4. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking until vegetables are completely soft.

  5. Puree the soup using either an immersion blender or carefully transfer to a stand blender.

  6. Top with a sprinkle of fresh thyme.

Building A Better Snack Board

Written by Bronwyn Cawker

snack board, charcuterie board, vegan, vegetarian, vegetarian snack board, vegan snack board, snack plate, snacks, snack platter

Today we’re giving you tips on building an impressive health-forward snack board that is packed with flavour and will please all of the palates at your dinner table. The board we’ve created features an assortment of gluten free crackers, vegetables and fruits and four recipes: earthy beet hummus, thyme and roasted garlic cashew cheese, radish green hemp pesto, and maple citrus candied nuts.

Our recipes would be at home on any snack board, or are great as a stand alone option. Feel free to use them on your board, or keep these three tips in mind to build your own version. View the snack board as a canvas on which you can flex your creative muscles.

Choose a Variety of Options:

Variety is the spice of life, or so the old saying goes, and it is essential when assembling a snack board. Choose not only a variety of items to place on your board - fresh produce, cheeses (or non-dairy options), meats, crackers, nuts, seeds, and spreads - but a variety of textures and flavours as well. Appeal to the 5 tastes by featuring a combination of savoury, salty, sweet, bitter, and sour items. You can add the crunch of raw vegetable crudités while featuring soft pickled ones, or a bevy of fresh fruits with a tangy fruit chutney.

Choose a Theme:

Build your board around items for a holiday, event, season, or a regional cuisine. Is it spring time? Load up your snack board with in-season items like fresh radishes, radish green pesto, and shaved asparagus. Is it summer? Break out the grill and feature loads of grilled in-season veggies like corn and bell peppers. Do you love Mediterranean food? Try beet hummus, marinated artichoke hearts, or harissa roasted chickpeas.

Choose Colour:

When in doubt loading up your board with an assortment of brightly coloured fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruits is sure to appeal to our tendency toward eating with the eyes. They are not only packed with flavour, but fibre and phytochemicals that are beneficial for disease prevention. It’s a win-win situation.

Better Snack Board Recipes:

radish green pesto, hemp pesto, vegan pesto, radish greens, radish pesto, root to stem

Beet Hummus:

Beet hummus is a nice break from traditional hummus and lends a rich, earthy taste and a pop of colour to your board. We even experimented and used a bit of smoked tahini from Parallel Brothers in our hummus (local for you Toronto folks).

Ingredients:
1 medium cooked beet
3 cloves roasted garlic
1 15 oz can chickpeas
3 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra to garnish
1 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp tahini
1 tsp cumin
sea salt, to taste
¼ cup ice water, as needed to thin

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients except the ice water in a high-speed blender or food processor, scraping down sides of bowl with a spatula if needed. While still running, drizzle in ice water until the hummus has a smooth, creamy consistency.
2. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped herbs.

Radish Green Hemp Pesto:

If you buy radishes with the greens still attached, this hemp pesto is an incredible way to utilize them and avoid the compost bin. Yes, radish greens are edible! They tend to be incredibly sandy, so make sure to rinse thoroughly to clean off any grit.

Ingredients:
1 bunch radish leaves, thoroughly washed and dried
2 cloves roasted garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup hemp seeds
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
½ lemon, juiced
sea salt, to taste

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients in a small food processor until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl with a spatula if needed.

Tip: If desired, you can add a ½ cup of basil to this recipe to get more of a traditional pesto taste.

Roasted Garlic and Thyme Cashew Cheese:

This is an excellent option to add to your board if you’re vegan or have lactose intolerance and are looking for something to fill the void of a traditional cheese. It is creamy, bright ,and herbaceous. The thyme can be swapped for other herbs if you’re looking for a different flavour profile for your board. Dill, chives, basil, or tarragon are all fantastic choices.

Ingredients:
1 ¼ cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
½ lemon, juiced
1 tsp lemon zest
3 cloves roasted garlic
3 tsp fresh thyme, divided
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
water, as needed to thin

Directions:
1. Soak cashews overnight in warm water, draining and rinsing thoroughly. If you’re in a time crunch, you can soak in hot water for an hour.
2. Combine soaked cashews and remaining ingredients in a food processor until completely smooth and spreadable, scraping as necessary with a spatula.
3. Using wet hands, you can optionally roll your cheese into a log or ball, placing on a small piece of parchment or wax paper. Otherwise, place in a bowl.
4. Sprinkle with remaining thyme and cracked black pepper.

Maple Citrus Candied Nuts

These crunchy clusters are the perfect balance of sweet with a bright hint of orange. Feel free to use pecans in this recipe or substitute for walnuts, almonds, or pistachios.

Ingredients:
½ cup pecans
1 tsp coconut oil, melted
1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp orange zest
pinch of salt

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat combine coconut oil, maple syrup, and orange zest. Add in pecans (or nuts of choice) and stir to coat.
3. Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes, checking on and stirring them periodically.
4. Allow to cool and serve.

snack board, vegan snack board, vegetarian snack board, snacks

If you’re racking your brain for something to make for a dinner party or a potluck, this snack board is sure to be a show stopper!

These four recipes are some of the things that we like to include, but we’d love to hear what your must-have snack board items are. Give us a shout in our comments section, or on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.