Well, I guess it's about time that I update my blog. It's been three days yes, but it feels like forever. The past couple days I just haven't been able to bring myself to blogging, I'm not sure why. I've been focusing more on biking, reading, and just relaxing and haven't been around the computer as much as I usually am. However, I have gotten a couple of messages from people asking me to write a post and so I thought I should finally write one, especially as I have some really great recipes to share :)! With that being said I hope everyone enjoyed a nice, recreational weekend :). For me this was by far the best weekend I've had in Montreal as of yet. Friday night was the party at one of the actor's house, which was a load of fun. Got to meet a lot of people that we will be working with which is awesome, and just getting to see people outside of work is always neat. Didn't leave the party until about 2:00 am, which was a really nice change from my regular calm Friday nights.
Saturday I pretty much lounged for the good part of the day. I finally got up and made myself breakfast (which I must add was kickin'!) I was inspired by the Banana Coconut Cream Pie I made a couple of months ago. Since I had already made a dessert for this weekend (which you will soon see) I decided I'd keep that recipe for another weekend, instead I made a smoothie that replicated the flavours.
Banana Coconut Lime Cream Pie
Recipe inspired by here
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup flaked coconut
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1 frozen banana
- 2 tbsp granola
- Toppings: coconut meat
Give everything a good whirl in your blender until desired consistency is reached. Top with coconut meat.
Lunch was simple and not worth blogging. However, for dinner, I had invited my friend over. This was someone I worked with when I lived in Guelph, it was nice to catch up and just be see a familiar face. I had a lot of fun, was good company and good food, those two go hand-in-hand I suppose and always makes for a great time?
Well, I had decided to make a "meat" loaf. I wasn't sure what to expect as I'd never even had a real meat loaf. However, I was willing to try it and thank heaven's I did. I really, really enjoyed it, plus it gave me leftover's for quite a couple of days. This I found was incredibly filling, and would definitely make another batch again so that I could freeze some and just unthaw it as I need. I was a little skeptical about making this at first, only because last year I had tried lentils. I had made a soup and it called for lentils, but since I couldn't find dry lentils at the store I went for the can. I absolutely hated the soup it was disgusting. Since then I've been terrified to try lentils again because the texture was just mushy and off. However, the more and more my mom and I go to Jean-Talon the more I'm wanting to try different foods. I saw a bag of brown lentils from this organic farmer and figured I'd pick up a bag. I mean, no matter what I've tried from canned foods (which isn't a lot) but they've always been gross other than chickpeas/black beans. When I saw the recipe for the vegan "meat" loaf I knew I should try that for the first time with the lentils.
Holy moly, the loaf was fantastic. Dry lentils are nothing like gross canned lentils. I cooked them al dente so they still had a little bit of crunch to them. What I loved is that 3/4 of the lentils were pureed while the other were kept in their original form. This was fantastic. It is filled with sooooo much protein, good nutrients, fibre, iron, I loved, loved, loved it. This would definitely be a great holiday meal if those around you are eating meat... what I liked is that honestly, it could fool you into thinking you're eating real meat loaf (which sounds kind of gross) but it was neat.
Vegan Lentil Almond "Meat" Loaf
Recipe thoroughly adapted from here
Yield: 8 thick slices
- 1 cup dry brown lentils
- 3 cups water
- 3 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup sweet onion, diced
- 1 medium sweet potato, grated
- 3/4 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp kosher sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 cup regular oats, ground into a flour (I processed the oats in food processor)
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used 2 slices of my ciabatta bread lightly toasted, and processed in food processor)
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp applesauce
Cook dry brown lentils: In a medium sized pot, add 3 cups of water and a vegetable bouillon cube and boil water until cube is dissolved. Alternatively, you can also use already prepared veggie stock. Rinse lentils and pick over being sure to remove any small pebbles that may be in the mix. Add lentils, bring to boil, and reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender (about 40 minutes). Be sure to stir the lentils frequently so they do not stick to the bottom of the pot. Once the lentils are cooked, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350 F and line a loaf pan with parchment so that parchment paper hangs over the edges by 2 inches.
Almonds: Toast 3/4 cup of walnuts at 350F for about 6 minutes and then set aside to cool.
Flax egg: Mix 3 tbsp of ground flax with 1/2 cup warm water and stir well. Set aside for at least 5-10 minutes so it can gel up.
Prepare vegetable mixture: In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion and minced garlic for about 5 minutes on low-medium heat, being careful not to burn. After the onions are tender, add sweet potato and cook until they get soft, about five minutes. Add the chopped almonds and sauté another minute or two. Add thyme, salt, and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
Breadcrumbs: I took 2 slices of ciabatta bread and lightly toasted them. Then I ripped up the slices and placed into my food processor and processed until small breadcrumbs were left. Alternatively, you can use store bought breadcrumbs too.
Process 75% of lentils and Mix everything together: Once the lentils are cooled, take 75% of the lentils and place into food processor. Process until mostly smooth (some small lentils will remain!). Now take the processed lentils and scoop into a large bowl. Add in the remaining 25% of non-processed lentils and place into bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, flax egg, veggie mixture, oat flour, and ground flax seed. Stir well with a spoon and then remove the spoon and mix well with your hands, pressing it through your fingers. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Dump the mixture into your loaf pan and spread out with a spoon. Now take your hands and press the mixture firmly and evenly into the pan.
In small bowl combine all glaze ingredients. Spread evenly over loaf and bake, uncovered 45 minutes at 350F.
Cool for about 10-15 minutes and serve. Serves about 8 thick slices.
As you might have noticed the past couple of weeks, raw desserts have been what I've been treating myself to. I've really enjoyed making the, I've enjoyed staring at them (I really find them pretty) but more so I enjoy eating them; as do the people who have been enjoying them with me. This cake was definitely lovely. I didn't look at any particular recipe and sort of just based it around what I've made in the past. I changed up the crust and added dates/plums and the combination of both of them were blissful, absolutely amazing. My four year-old cousin... let's just say, his face, arms, and the table were coooovered. He loved it, helping himself to seconds. You know your food is a success when children eat them... he was very close to licking his plate when we all sort of gave him this look and he stopped. It was amazing, unfortunately there is only a teeny tiny slice left... but it's probably for the best because I'd be eating it myself.
Cherry Raspberry Bliss "Cheese" Cake
Recipe by me
- 1 1/2 cup almonds
- 2/3 cup dried plums
- 3/4 cup dried dates
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1-2 tbsp water
In the bowl of your food processor, process the almonds to a coarse meal. Add your dates, plums and salt and process to combine. The mixture should stick together when you press your fingers to it, if it doesn't stick add a little bit of water until it sticks.
Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan, set aside.
- 1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours
- 1/3 cup raspberry agave nectar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup frozen cherries
- Topping: coconut meat
In the bowl of your food process, process the cashews, agave, lemon juice and vanilla bean seeds until smooth.
Spoon about 1/3 cup of the mixture on top of your crust.
Add the raspberries and cherries to the remaining mix in the food processor and process until smooth.
Add the mixture to the top of the vanilla filling and smooth with the back of a spoon. Place the pan in the freezer for 3 or so hours to set. This can be frozen for many weeks, but I doubt it will last that long.
Before serving let sit at room temperature for ten minutes.
Did you make anything ultra-delicious this weekend?