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

Summer Rolls With Almond Butter Dipping Sauce

written by Tamar Saskin

This is a recipe for summer rolls and rice wraps with veggie wraps and delicious almond ginger dipping sauce

We’ve always loved summer rolls for their refreshing, crisp veggies and the sweet-salty dipping sauce. The best part about summer rolls is that they require no cooking and are an easy vegan and gluten free snack or lunch to prepare.  We decided to fill our rice wraps with cucumber, carrots, basil, red pepper, purple cabbage, and baby spinach but you can really use any fresh veggies you have in your fridge and experiment with adding in other fresh herbs that you like, such as mint and cilantro, or even add in some marinated tofu, tempeh, shrimp or chicken for additional protein. Our dipping sauce is made with almond butter and ginger for some plant based protein and delicious flavours to infuse with the veggies.

Spinach is a wonderful leafy green packed with iron, vitamins and minerals. We always recommend keeping a box of baby spinach in the fridge because it’s an easy way to add greens to just about anything: wraps, salads, omelettes, soups and smoothies. Spinach contains Vitamin K, fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and thiamine. Spinach is a good source of iron, making it wonderful vegetable to include in your diet if you’re vegan and not eating animal products.  The iron found in spinach is more absorbable when it’s cooked, as opposed to eating it raw (so make sure to saute your spinach or add it to a soup if you want to eat more iron). Spinach also contains small amounts of an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid which plays a role in balancing glucose levels and increasing insulin sensitivity.  Spinach contains our favorite green pigment chlorophyll, which gives plants their beautiful green color and has been studied for its potential role in cancer prevention.

Purple cabbage adds wonderful color to these summer rolls, along with many more antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.  Being a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, purple cabbage is a great food to include in your diet to get sulfur-containing glucosinolates, the compounds that have been studied for their role in cancer prevention and supporting the liver in breaking down toxins. Purple cabbage is a good source of vitamin C, which is always helpful for your immune system.  

We hope you’ll give this recipe a try and make these summer rolls as an appetizer, for a snack or for lunch.  They are best eaten fresh when made, but if you need to prepare them in advance you can place a damp paper towel over them to prevent the rice paper from dying out.  The sauce will stay fresh for several days when stored in the fridge.

summer rice wraps 1.jpg


Summer Rolls With Almond Butter Dipping Sauce

½ English cucumber, sliced in matchsticks
1 carrot, sliced in matchsticks
12 basil leaves
½ red pepper, sliced in thin strips
2 cups of purple cabbage (or red cabbage), slivered/sliced thinly
½ box of baby spinach

Dipping Sauce:
3 Tbsp of almond butter
2 tsp of tamari
1 and ½ tsp of maple syrup
½ tsp grated ginger
1 tsp of lime juice
½ tsp of toasted sesame oil
¼ cup of water

Directions:

For the Summer Rolls:

  1. Chop all the vegetables in thin slices.

  2. Fill a deep dish or saucepan (that’s 2 to 3 inches deep) with hot water.

  3. Place each sheet of rice paper in hot water for 10-15 seconds to soften slightly.

  4. Remove the rice paper from the water and place it flat on a plate or cutting board.

  5. Place the vegetables in the center of the rice paper.

  6. Roll the rice paper to form a wrap (roll over the edge closest to you, then fold in the left side, then the right side, then roll over completely).

For the Dipping Sauce:

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir, except the water.

  2. Slowly add the water as needed and mix until smooth (you may need more or less than ¼ cup of water).

This is a recipe for summer rolls and rice wraps with veggie wraps and delicious almond ginger dipping sauce

Strawberry Coconut & Cherry Popsicles

written by Tamar Saskin

these are strawberry coconut and cherry popsicles that are vegan and dairy free and also sugar free

Looking for a delicious refreshing popsicle recipe to rescue you from this summer heat? Try these nutritious strawberry, coconut, cherry popsicles! They are delicious and do not take long to prepare, the hardest part is resisting the temptation to eat them while waiting for them to freeze fully. There are only two layers to the popsicle, the strawberry layer and the coconut layer. Then we threw in some sliced cherries to add some additional health benefits and delicious flavour, as well as to create some contrast with the colors.

Besides the delicious flavour of strawberries, these berries also have a lot of nutritional benefits. First of all they contain anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that is responsible for the beautiful color of strawberries and is also a type of antioxidant. Another flavonoid and antioxidant, quercetin, is found in strawberries and is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Strawberries are also a good source of fiber and potassium which are both important nutrients for heart health. They have a low glycemic index making them a wonderful sweet berry that won’t impact blood sugar as much as other fruits do.  Strawberries are a good low-sugar snack that we recommend for anyone that has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes or if you’re following a low-sugar diet or even the candida diet (if you are not strictly eliminating all berries). Lastly, strawberries taste delicious and are easy to incorporate into your diet. They can be added to salads, smoothies, popsicles, or enjoyed on their own with a little squeeze of lemon juice (a simple and yet delicious combo).

Cherries have a delicious tart yet sweet flavour as well as many health benefits. Cherries are an excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants.  Cherries, like strawberries, have a low glycemic index so they won’t spike your blood sugar level in the way that sugary desserts do.

We hope you will give these delicious popsicles a try during the summer- it's such a lovely recipe because it's sweetened with low-glycemic fruits and can be made completely sugar free by using monkfruit sweetener instead of maple syrup or honey.  Alternatively, you could even omit sweetener all together and simply use fruit and coconut milk.  These popsicles are also vegan and dairy free, making them friendly for everyone.  We promise you won’t regret it!

 

these popsicles are dairy free and sugar free and made with coconut, strawberries and cherry.  This popsicle recipe is so easy.

 

Strawberry Coconut & Cherry Popsicles

Coconut layer:
¾  cup full fat coconut milk (from can)
1 ½ tsp monkfruit sweetener, honey or maple syrup

Strawberry layer:
1 1/2  cups frozen or fresh strawberries (if using frozen berries, add ½ cup of water)
1 tsp lemon juice

Cherries:
6 cherries, sliced in thin pieces

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the coconut milk with sweetener of choice in a bowl.

  2. Blend the strawberries and lemon juice in a high-speed blender until smooth and liquid.

  3. Slice the cherries in thin pieces (you’ll need to remove the pits).

  4. Pour the strawberry liquid into 6 popsicle molds, filling them ½ way.

  5. Then pour in the coconut milk over top of the strawberry liquid (it will mix in slightly with the strawberry liquid).

  6. Place some slices of cherries into each popsicle mold.

  7. Place the popsicles in the freezer for 1 hour.  

  8. Then carefully stick wooden sticks into each popsicle.  Place back in the freezer and freeze for 3-4 hours, until solidified completely.

 

these popsicles are dairy free and sugar free and made with coconut, strawberries and cherry.  This popsicle recipe is so easy.

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.