It’s been over a year since we started Recipe Friday and committing to being plant based on Fridays. As we’ve incorporated more plant based whole foods into our diet, we’ve found that it’s been easier to follow this lifestyle on more than just Fridays!
Today we’d like to share a recipe that was posted on the T. Colin Campbell Center For Nutrition Studies site. If you don’t already follow this website, it’s a great wealth of information. This recipe incorporates fresh seasonal autumn ingredients and uses minimal salt and no oil.
Why oil free? Cooking oil is not considered a whole food, since it’s been extracted from the whole food. All cooking oils contribute to arterial damage and increasing cholesterol, so if you are trying to avoid heart disease, an oil free diet is something to consider.
Cooking without oils can be challenging since oil helps to make foods more flavorful. This recipe used so many herbs (we used all fresh herbs and more than what is written) that the flavor was definitely not lacking! We used acorn squash instead of carnival squash, and it came out yummy.
Have you tried cooking without oil? We’d love to hear your tips and ideas on this way of cooking!
Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
12 small to medium carnival squashes
2 cups long grain brown rice
1⁄2 cup wild rice
5 cups water
2 pinches of sea salt
2 medium onions, diced small (~21⁄2 cups)
1 tsp dried sage or 1 Tbsp fresh sage, minced
2 tsp dried basil or 4 Tbsp fresh basil, minced
Pinch of dried or fresh thyme
Pinch of dried or fresh rosemary
1⁄2 cup raw pumpkin seeds, toasted
1 cup raw walnuts, toasted and chopped (we used pine nuts)
2⁄3 cup currants
1 bunch parsley, minced (~1 cup)
3 to 4 stalks of celery, diced small (~2 cups)
21⁄2 Tbsp wheat-free or regular tamari
11⁄2 Tbsp umeboshi plum vinegar (we used apple cider vinegar)
Wash and cut the squash in half lengthwise, leaving the seeds in. Place squash on a glass baking dish or stainless baking pan, with the inside facing downward.
Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Place 1⁄4 inch of water in the dish. Bake at 350 degrees F, until soft, approximately 11⁄2 hours.
Wash both types of rice separately. Then combine the rice, and add water and a large pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 45 to 50 minutes.
Sauté onions in water until translucent. Add sage, basil, thyme, rosemary and sauté another 3 minutes. Add this mixture to the cooked rice.
Stir in toasted pumpkin seeds, toasted walnuts, currants, parsley and celery.
When the squash is soft, remove from the oven and scoop the seeds out with a spoon. Place the squash back in the pan, with the inside facing up and fill with a rounded heap of the rice mixture.
Today we combined recipes from two of our favorite food bloggers, Lazy Cat Kitchen and Jess Beautician. Both of these bloggers offer such inspiration for anyone adopting a plant based diet. When we saw the beautiful Vegan Chocolate Mousse Raspberry Tart, by Lazy Cat Kitchen, we could hardly wait to make it! We had heard about aquafaba and this was a good chance to try it. When the recipe asked for a “good quality raspberry jam”, we knew exactly which jam we would make – the chia jam from Jess Beautician! If you haven’t already, please check them out!
Vegan Chocolate Mousse Raspberry Tart
150 g / 1 cup dried dates, halved and pitted
140 g / 1 cup almonds
90 g / 1 cup rolled oats (GF certified if required)
3 tbsp cacao powder
¼ tsp fine sea salt
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
125 g / 4.5 oz dark (70 % cacao) chocolate
90 ml / ¼ cup + 2 tbsp aquafaba / chickpea brine or from a tin
90 ml / ¼ cup + 2 tbsp coconut cream (separated from full-fat coconut milk)
¼ tsp hot chilli powder, adjust to taste (optional)
240 ml / 1 cup good quality raspberry jam
mini meringue kisses
Place pitted dates in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave them for 10 minutes to soften.
Place almonds and oats in a food processor and grind them both into flour. If you don’t have a powerful food processor, you may want to grind them separately. Transfer ground almonds and oats to a large bowl. Add cacao and salt and mix well.
Squeeze excess moisture out of the dates and place them into the food processor. Process until you get a smooth, sticky mixture. Add them to the dry ingredients and knead by hand until you get a uniform dough.
Finally, add melted coconut oil.
Line a tart tin with a piece of baking paper and line the tin with the dough you’ve just made. Make sure you press it really well so that it’s compacted and holds together well. Pop into the freezer for 10 mins.
Chop your chocolate very finely (unless you are using chocolate chips) and place into a glass bowl together with coconut cream. Place over a water bath (on the lowest heat) and allow the chocolate and coconut cream to melt gently into each other. Do not stir until most of the chocolate has melted, then turn the hob off and allow the rest of the chocolate to melt under the residual heat. Gently mix the two together and add chilli powder at this stage (if using). Chocolate is a temperamental beast to work with, if it happens to seize (gets thick, oily and grainy), see NOTES below. Take the bowl with chocolate off the pot with hot water to allow the chocolate mixture to cool down.
Place room temperature aquafaba in a clean (that’s very important as any grease residue will prevent aquafaba from foaming) glass or metal bowl. Whip it until you achieve stiff peaks – you should be able to invert the bowl and the whipped aquafaba should not budge an inch, if it does it means that it hasn’t been whipped enough.
Make sure chocolate is lower than body temperature before mixing into aquafaba. Gently fold whipped aquafaba into the chocolate ganache – 2 tablespoons of aquafaba at a time.
Take the base out of the freezer and spread the jam on the bottom. Next pour the chocolate layer on top. Let the tin sit at room temperature for around 30 minutes and then pop it into the fridge overnight or for several hours (at least) to set.
Decorate and cut into slices. Store in the fridge and consume within 1-2 days.
The original recipe called for Blueberries, but we used raspberries instead.
2 cups raspberry, defrosted from frozen
3 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp lemon juice
Make the Blueberry Chia Jam by placing the defrosted blueberries in a bowl, along with the chia seeds, maple syrup and lemon juice. Mash with a potato masher and ensure it is mixed well then put to the side to thicken for around 10 minutes.
Ready for something cozy and savory? This cute zucchette pasta at Trader Joe’s inspired us to make this recipe from healthylittlevittles. Plus with all of its health benefits of butternut squash, we are excited to share this recipe with all of you.
One serving of butternut squash contains 4 times the recommended dose of vitamin A and nearly half of your daily dose of vitamin C. Foods high in antioxidants are a natural treatment for oxidative stress and has been linked to healthier skin and were linked to a lower likelihood of wrinkles and dryness.
This Butternut and Squash dish is so flavorful and quite filling too!
Savory Butternut Squash & Spinach
1 package butternut squash (purchased pre-cut into cubes)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 lb gluten free pasta (We used zucchette pasta from Trader Joe’s)
1 onion (diced)
1 tbsp minced garlic
5 oz fresh, organic spinach
1/2 cup vegetarian no-chicken broth/vegetable broth/chicken broth (if not vegan)
1/4 cup + more for topping vegan parmesan cheese *see notes
red pepper flakes (to taste)
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts or walnuts
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Arrange the pre-cut butternut squash pieces on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt pepper. Roast in the oven until the squash starts to turn golden (about 15-20 minutes)
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions
In a large skillet, heat the 2 tbsp olive oil + garlic + salt over medium heat
Add the diced onion + garlic and saute until translucent
Add the broth + vegan parmesan cheese + red pepper flakes. Simmer over low heat to combine the flavors
Drain the pasta, then add to the skillet
Finally add the butternut squash + spinach to the skillet, cooking for a few more minutes until the spinach begins to wilt
Serve with more vegan parmesan cheese + red pepper flakes if desired!
The weather finally got a bit chilly today and it actually felt like Autumn is coming! Although we thoroughly enjoyed our week of eating raw, it was a nice change to head back into the kitchen and make something warm again. Falafels are always a nice easy staple to make. The kids love them and they can be incorporated into a meal or eaten on their own as a heavy snack for after school. You can bake these, but we like to pan fry them so they are crispy.
1 15 oz can chickpeas drained and rinsed
½ cup white onion chopped
½ cup gluten-free flour
¼ cup chopped scallions
1 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon avocado oil + more for frying
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Combine the chickpeas, onions, scallions, parsley, cumin and flour in a food processor and pulse until combined
Add in the juice of the two lemons, avocado oil, salt and pepper, pulse to combine until it creates a dough-like texture
Place the falafel mix in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for a least 1.5 – 2 hours. (You can store the batter in the refrigerator for up to 2 days)
Heat a medium skillet and add about 2 Tbs avocado oil.
Cook the falafels in medium heat for 3 minutes on each side (until crispy)
Once cooked, place on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the oil.
One of the best things about Recipe Friday is that we force ourselves to try new recipes. We found that a good way to stick to a plant-based diet is to constantly keep it new and interesting. It’s so easy to fall into eating the same things over and over and that quickly gets stale and boring.
This week, we made a Vegan Cashew Cream Cheeze from healthyblenderrecipes.com. It tasted so amazing and works so well as an all purpose spread, dip, filler! It was almost better than hummus because of it’s cheezy nutty flavor!
We made like cucumber “sushi” rolls with the Cashew Cream Cheeze and the combination was similar to a ‘caprese’ type appetizer. Yum!
This cheezy sauce is:
Dairy-free & vegan
Gluten-free & paleo-friendly
Versatile (you can add chopped veggies, like sweet peppers, and use it as a vegetable dip)
Throw the cashews into the food processor with the other ingredients (except the parsley) and pulse until you reach the desired consistency. Add more water as needed. Tweak lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder and salt to taste.
Transfer cheese to a bowl and stir in the parsley.